During your annual checkup with your doctor, you receive some troubling news. You have prediabetes. The doctor explains that your blood glucose levels are high, and you’re at serious risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, which means that although your pancreas can produce insulin, your body won’t respond effectively to it. Together you create a plan to deal with this condition and prevent harm to your health. Well, if you aren’t also consulting and working with your dentist, you could face lasting damage to your smile with gum disease. In this blog post, you’ll learn how diabetes affects your oral health and how you can keep both under better control.
Diabetes and Gum Disease Explained
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this condition impairs your body from making and using the insulin it needs to control your blood sugar levels. If diabetes is not properly managed, you can experience nerve or organ damage, especially in the eye, kidneys, and nerves in your hands or feet.
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that initially makes gum tissue red, swollen, and sensitive to the touch. As the disease progresses, the gums recede, and permanent damage can occur in the supporting tissues and bone. Eventually, untreated gum disease leads to tooth loss.
How Diabetes and Gum Disease Are Related
At first glance, these two diseases may seem unconnected. However, studies have shown that advanced gum disease, called periodontitis, is far more prevalent in those with diabetes than in patients who don’t have it. What is the connection between these diseases? They have a couple of things in common. The sugar you consume can obviously cause spikes in your blood sugar levels, but the bacteria that are responsible for gum disease thrive on sugar particles that remain in your mouth. Also, those who poorly manage their diabetes are also more likely to neglect their oral health, increasing their risk of this disease.
Preventing Gum Disease for Diabetics
If you have diabetes, giving your smile daily attention is imperative. You need to make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice every day for two full minutes. Plus, make sure that you’re also flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash every day. In addition, you need to visit your dentist at least every six months for checkups and cleanings. In cases where diabetes isn’t been properly managed, more frequent visits may be necessary to treat gum disease and keep oral health in check. And, of course, limiting your sugar or carbohydrate intake can help you control your diabetes and reduce fuel for harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to have gum disease, and vice versa. However, by taking care of both your body and your mouth, you can remain healthy for years into the future. Do you need to add your dentist to your care team? Contact them for an appointment today!
About Chaska Dental Center
At Chaska Dental Center, two experienced, highly trained dentists are available to help patients of all ages avoid and treat gum disease. Through effective periodontal therapy, Dr. Thomas Meschke and Dr. Aaron Swingdorf can keep the disease under control and provide advice specifically for patients who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you have questions about gum disease, you can contact Dr. Meschke or Dr. Swingdorf at Chaska Dental Center by calling (952) 448-4151 or clicking here.