Do you have diabetes? Also suffer from gum disease? There is a growing number of research beginning to link the two. An astounding approximate of nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. Health complications associated with diabetes are nothing new… but adding gum disease to the ever growing list is. Kalamazoo dentist, Dr. Carrie Lintner, discusses the relationship between the diseases below.
Diabetes Relationship to Gum Disease
Diabetes causes glucose levels in the blood to elevate. This is due to the body being unable to produce enough or any insulin. When blood sugar is improperly controlled, our bodies can become more susceptible to further complications. One of these complications is now gum disease. When someone has diabetes the immune system is weakened and resistance to infection lowers. The culprit of gum disease is bacteria, plaque and tartar. When the body’s resistance to infection is low, it is harder to fight off the bacteria invading our gums. This then creates further susceptibility to gum disease.
Gum Diseases’ Relationship to Diabetes
Emerging studies are now displaying the relationship between diabetes and gum disease may be a two way street. Gum disease diagnosis vary on severity. Moderate being gingivitis and advanced being periodontitis. When an infection, such as gum disease, is present in the body, glucose levels tend to rise. When glucose levels are not properly controlled, diabetes may be entering your life.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes can affect multiple aspects of your mouth. A sign of undetected diabetes is dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause ulcers, infections and tooth decay. Each of these can then lead to further, costly health issues. There are measures one can take to minimize the distress diabetes has on your oral health. The first and perhaps most obvious step, is getting the diabetes under control. Watch blood sugar levels, stop smoking, exercise and eat a proper nutritional diet. Next, practice proper oral care. This includes; brushing and flossing twice daily, bi-annual dental exams and rinsing with an oral mouth rinse.
If you have diabetes it is important to inform your dentist. This also makes it extremely important for you to not miss your six month dental check-ups. Gum disease can start slow and take off. If gingivitis has begun and blood glucose levels are erratic, this could be a recipe for disaster. As with any disease, early detection is key. If you believe you may be at risk for gum disease in Kalamazoo, contact Lindenwoods Dental and get your appointment set up right away.