Numbers of studies have shown that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those who have diabetes. Poor blood glucose control makes gum problems more likely, meaning that those who have diabetes must take special pains to protect the health of their mouths – thus protecting their entire bodies.
Research has long proven that people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease because they are more susceptible to bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.
All gum disease starts with dental plaque. Plaque develops on the teeth on a daily basis, but if it is removed by daily flossing and brushing then the mouth is kept at a healthy state. However, if plaque is not removed each day by brushing and flossing, it accumulates along the gum line and the surfaces of the teeth. Because plaque is made up of millions of acid-producing bacteria, it can cause significant damage in a relatively short amount of time. The progression of gum disease is increased in those who have diabetes because diabetes slows blood circulation, making the gums more vulnerable to infection. Once the gums they will have a more difficult time fighting off the infection because of the body’s lowered resistance.
Those with diabetes have a high glucose level in their saliva, which promotes the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugars left behind after eating and drinking, so for those with diabetes and a higher saliva glucose level, they are more likely to develop gum disease.
Practicing optimal oral health care is imperative for those who have diabetes. Flossing every single day is essential to removing the bacteria-laden plaque from the teeth and gum lines so that they do not invade the gums and cause infection. Signs of the following needs to be addressed immediately by your dentist:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Frequent bad breath
- Change in the way your teeth (or partials/dentures) fit together
Maintaining a good control over your blood sugar levels is essential when you have diabetes, but maintaining good oral health is also vital. At Family & Cosmetic Dental Care we are here to help all patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. If you have diabetes, it is imperative that you let Dr. Patel know so that he can watch for and detect any signs of early gum disease.
Posted by Mitul Patel DDS, Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
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2627 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 440
Suwanee, GA 30024
Phone: (770) 888-3384