Gum Disease and Diabetes
As dental experts working at Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we have received many patients with diabetes complaining about gum disease. What is the link?
The American Dental Association has found that there is a bidirectional relationship between gum disease and diabetes. When a patient has high blood sugar, it can increase gum disease risk. Likewise, gum disease will make it harder to control blood sugar.
How Does Diabetes Cause Gum Disease?
Diabetes can change the saliva, affecting overall oral health. Saliva is an important component in washing debris, lubricating, protecting tissue, reducing bacterial growth, and even fighting tooth decay and bacterial acids. Unregulated diabetes can decrease the production of saliva, and it may even contain great amounts of glucose.
The resulting dry mouth can push bacteria to grow in the mouth and combine with bits of food to create plaque. The plaque can grow and develop into hard tartar that will require our professionals to clean it for you. If not removed, it can create periodontal disease.
Diabetics also have intense inflammation in response to bacteria. The increased blood sugar also interferes with the healing of wounds, increasing gum damage risk, infections, and disease.
Some symptoms experienced by patients with diabetes in terms of oral health include:
Twenty-two percent of all people with diabetes get periodontal disease too. Hence, it is important to properly note and take care of gum disease if you have diabetes.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Here are the common gum disease symptoms that you should look out for:
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease and other oral health problems that are linked to diabetes can be prevented if you take proper care of your gums and teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a nylon, soft brush that has rounded bristles. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush with circular and back-and-forth motions gently. Also, make sure to brush your tongue when brushing your teeth.
Use an 18-inch long dental floss daily, and don’t use sawing motions between the teeth. Try to curve the floss around the teeth and scrape it against the sides. Rinse after you have flossed.
It is equally important to manage diabetes to keep gum disease at bay. Controlling blood sugar levels and getting regular dental checkups is important. If you make any changes to medication, let your dentist know.
Avoid any tobacco products, including cigarettes. If you use dentures, make sure to remove them and clean them daily. Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet will be good for your oral health and diabetes.
At Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, our surgeons work tirelessly to help patients achieve better oral health. Call Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 657-384-2787 to schedule an appointment and initiate the start of a healthy mouth and routine.