Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
If you are living with diabetes, you know full well that this systemic condition can affect many parts of your body—your eyes, your kidneys, your nerves, your heart. One of the lesser known consequences of diabetes is periodontal disease, which affects the health of your gums, your teeth, periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. Periodontal disease needs to be treated to help manage your diabetes, and Fusion Dental Specialists can help.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. It starts off small, barely noticeable. A combination of plaque on your teeth and oral bacteria irritate your gum tissue. This elicits an inflammatory response from the immune system in an attempt to fight off infection. As the condition worsens, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets into which more bacteria fall. Once inside, they are just about impossible to remove without professional dental help. Bacteria continue to inflame the gum tissue and destroy your jawbone and periodontal ligaments (connective tissues that hold your teeth in place). Eventually, your teeth become loose and fall out. What’s more is that bacteria can enter your bloodstream, and cause serious health complications.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Symptoms of the earliest stage of gum disease include red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. As the condition continues, you may notice other symptoms such as receding gums (your teeth appear longer), loose teeth, and tooth loss.
The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
When your diabetes is not well managed, the amount of sugar in your blood increases. This also means that there is an increase in sugars in your saliva (and therefore your mouth). Oral bacteria feast on these sugars, significantly increasing your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Not only can diabetes lead to periodontal disease, but periodontal disease can also lead to diabetes. If you are plagued with more advanced stages of periodontal disease, bacteria can make their way into your blood stream. They can affect your blood sugar control, increasing your risk for experiencing diabetes, and all of the complications associated with it.
Treatment and Prevention of Periodontal Disease
Treating gum disease is required for the prevention of serious complications, including diabetes. This can include treatments such as scaling and root planing, or periodontal surgery. If you have periodontal disease, and you also have diabetes, this information is critical. The condition of your diabetes can affect your treatment. Some treatments may need to be postponed if your blood sugar levels are not under good control. It is essential that you communicate with us so that we can provide you with the best possible treatments.
Preventing periodontal disease involves brushing your teeth, and flossing, daily. You should also maintain dental cleanings and exams every six months. If you have diabetes, you should also take measures to keep your blood sugar levels under control. All of these factors can help to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy and happy.
If you have diabetes, you are an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. Taking appropriate care of your mouth by brushing, flossing and regular dental visits, is essential. For more information on how to prevent gum disease, or to schedule your appointment, contact Fusion Dental Specialists today at (503) 653-2299!