The Link Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes is a disease that has a tremendous effect on the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and other organs of the body. Apart from that, did you know that gum disease and diabetes are linked? It’s time that you are aware that people with diabetes are at high risk of developing gum disease, compared to the average person who does not have diabetes.

When the gum diseases are in advanced stages, the result is either a painful experience when eating food or the loss of teeth. Just like any other kind of infection, you can have a rough time controlling your blood sugar when you have gum diseases.

What is the link between gum diseases and diabetes?

Diabetes has several complications which include how gum disease is linked to it. If you have poor control over your diabetes, you have a higher risk of getting severe gum diseases more frequently, than individuals who have control over their diabetes. In fact, people who are in control of their blood sugar levels have the same chances of not contracting gum diseases, just like the individuals who do not have diabetes.

Children who have insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) also are at risk of contracting gum diseases. As a person with diabetes, the best chance you have got to avoid gum diseases is to ensure that you have diabetes under control.

In some studies, it has been shown that blood sugar control lowers the up-rise of diabetic complications like heart disease, damage to the nerves and eye problems. It is believed that the best way to avoid diabetes complications of gum disease is to control the level of blood sugar in your body.

Another way that gum disease is linked to diabetes is through the thickening of blood vessels due to diabetes complications. Oxygen and body nutrients are delivered through blood vessels to the body tissues which include the gums and the teeth, as they also carry waste products from these regions.

When the blood vessels thicken, transport of oxygen & nutrients and the removal of waste products slows down, and this can weaken the gums and expose them to infections.

Additionally, different kinds of germs flourish in sugars. When there is poor control of blood sugar levels, high sugar levels in the mouth can increase the number of germs and lead to periodontal diseases.
Smoking is also another harmful practice that increases the chances of gum disease. Smokers have a higher risk of having gum disease than non-smokers.

How do gum diseases develop?

Periodontitis

This is an infection that targets the gums. As plaque builds on the teeth, it hardens under the gums. Pockets are formed once the gums pull away from the teeth which lead to the loss of the jaw-bone that holds the teeth in the right position which eventually leads to the loss of teeth.

It is not easy to notice the early signs of periodontitis. But when the disease is advanced, abscess, pain, and loosening of teeth start to occur. Brushing and flossing cannot control periodontitis because it affects more than just the gums.

When you discover that you have periodontitis, seek the medical attention of a periodontist who is specialized in treating gum infections.

Gingivitis

Dental plaque accumulates over time as you avoid brushing your teeth or you have poor habits of brushing or flossing. When the sticky films of germs accumulate on the gums, it can make the gums become swollen, red and bleed, especially after brushing or flossing. When this happens, you are experiencing gingivitis which is the first stage of periodontal disease.

You have the power to reverse gingivitis by adopting good brushing and flossing techniques, coupled with a good rinse using an antiseptic mouthwash and a regular visit to the dentist. If you don’t take care of the first stages of gingivitis, you can be at risk of a more serious version of gum disease that we have looked at, periodontal disease.

How to treat periodontal disease

Removal of plaque

Periodontitis treatment depends on the severity of the infection. A periodontist can deep clean your teeth during the early signs of periodont

itis to remove the hard plaque and smooth the surface of the damaged teeth. Additionally, a special mouth rinse will be prescribed to help curb the infection.To avoid recurrence of the infection, you will have to stick to a good brushing and flossing routine to keep the plaque from pilling up again.

Dental surgery

When you have advanced forms of periodontitis, gum surgery is the best solution to stop the loss of teeth and damage to the gums. The periodontist will clean the gums and replace the tissue that supports the damaged teeth.

If you are diabetic

You need to be aware of the degree that your diabetes is controlled and inform your dentist of this details on each dental visit.

Before you schedule your periodontal disease treatment, see your doctor and ask the doctor to consult with your dentist on the overall medical status before the treatment begins.

If your oral surgery is already planned out, you will have to work with your doctor to re-plan the schedule of your meals and the insulin dosage.

If your blood sugar is not controlled, you will have to reschedule your dental procedure. But if you have infections like abscesses, you can have it treated as soon as possible.

An individual who has controlled diabetes can have the periodontal procedure done. Although healing may take a little bit more time because of diabetes, good oral care, you won’t have any complications.

It is also easier to control the levels of blood sugar once the periodontal infection is treated successfully.

Conclusion

Controlling and preventing gum disease is a group effort. But the best way to defend yourself against diabetes complications is to have good blood sugar control together with good oral care and dental checkups.

For more information on dental treatments for gum disease in New York, contact Dr. Marc Lazare on 646-846-2465 to book an appointment in his office at New York City.

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Author: Jyotsna Ramani

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since.

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