Almost 30 million people in the U.S have diabetes. This is a serious condition which can affect your heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Many factors can lead to a heightened risk of diabetes, such as diet and genetics. However, did you know diabetes is directly connected to gum disease? Your dentist in Chaska at the Chaska Dental Center wants you to know how these two conditions are related, as well as what you can do to prevent them.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes
The connection between the two seems to go both ways. People with diabetes tend to have a higher risk of getting gum disease, and researchers have evidence that gum disease can possibly lead to diabetes. One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is a thickening of the blood vessels. This makes it harder for them to bring nourishing, oxygen-rich blood and eliminate harmful wastes from any part of the body, including the gums. This can leave them more vulnerable to getting gum disease.
The bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar, and this includes glucose, the sugar commonly associated with diabetes. High-levels of glucose due to diabetes can lead a buildup of sugar in the mouth, which then causes the bacteria to multiply and can easily lead to gum disease.
On the other side, infected gums have actually been show to affect glycemic control. They can impact the rate at which the body absorbs sugar, and this can be a deciding factor for someone who has prediabetes. The bacteria in the mouth, specifically the gums, has also been shown to travel throughout the entire body, and can noticeably affect internal organs, including the pancreas.
What You Can Do About It?
Oral health is important for everyone, but those with diabetes need to be especially vigilant. Gum disease often does not show obvious symptoms in its early stages, but is often one of the leading causes of tooth loss in patients over 35. This is particularly true for diabetic patients.
Some key things you can do to prevent and even reverse gum disease is to firstly brush and floss consistently at home, and secondly, get regular dental cleanings in Chaska. These will both serve to prevent bacteria and sugar from building up in your mouth and causing gum disease. Brushing and flossing may accomplish a lot of this on their own, but they simply are not able to reach all of the areas in your mouth a professional dental cleaning can.
If you are already showing signs of advanced gum disease, Dr. Meschke and Dr. Swingdorf have a variety of ways of treating it, including a deep cleaning, laser treatment, or antibiotic therapy.
If you have any questions about gum disease’s connection to diabetes or what you can do to prevent it, please give us a call today. Gum disease is easily preventable and could make all the difference when it comes to your oral health, whether you have diabetes or not.