There’s no doubt about it because research has proven it: Diabetes causes its patients to have an increased infection risk. The research is well-documented. Fortunately, our team here at Brighton Dental in San Diego can work with you to clear up gum disease and improve your overall health.
Since periodontal disease is the sixth most common complication of diabetes, it’s essential to deal with the issue as soon as possible and continue to watch for oral health issues and treat them as they arise. Understanding some of these issues can make it easier for you to see just why dental intervention is necessary.
Understanding The Connection
The strong relationship between gum disease and diabetes is deep and complex because both conditions worsen over time and also worsen if not properly treated.
Periodontal disease is a condition that can eventually lead to the loss of teeth if not treated successfully. It starts with bacterial growth above the gum line, then below. Soon colonies of bacteria grow in increasingly large pockets between teeth and gums. Gums recede, tissue is destroyed and even the underlying bone can be damaged or destroyed.
Diabetes is a condition involving too much sugar in the blood, and this sugar – or glucose – can lead to tooth decay and other oral health issues. As each condition worsens, the chance for serious complications increases. That’s why it’s crucial to keep both conditions under control by monitoring them and taking actions regularly.
Establishing The Link Between Gum Disease And Diabetes
Research has shown that these two conditions are linked in several specific ways. Here are some of the issues involved:
Blood sugar increases. Moderate and severe gum disease can increase blood glucose levels, making it harder for you to control your blood sugar. Plus, the extra sugar in your mouth worsens the gum disease, creating a vicious cycle.
Blood vessel thickening. This issue makes it harder for nutrients to get where they need to go and harder for tissue to get rid of waste products. When this happens to blood vessels in the mouth, waste stays there and weakens the resistance of periodontal tissue.
Smoking. Some of tobacco’s worst impacts are on the mouth. Smoking slows healing, making gum disease more likely and harder to resolve. When people with diabetes smoke, the two issues compound each other. A person with diabetes who is over 45 is over 20 times more likely to have gum disease than the average person.
Oral hygiene issues. People with diabetes need to brush and floss regularly and maintain exceptionally good oral hygiene. When you don’t, bacteria in your mouth can use the sugar that builds up between your teeth to colonize below the gum line, creating gum disease.
We’ll Help You Stay Healthy
If you have diabetes, you must visit your dentist twice yearly – more often as recommended – and stay on top of your oral health. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for a world of increasingly debilitating and life-altering consequences. But there’s no reason to experience any more complications from diabetes than absolutely necessary.
Fortunately, our team at San Diego’s Brighton Dental are experienced experts in dealing with mouth issues that interact with diabetes. Dr. Woods can provide a wide range of non-surgical interventions that can change the course of your life and your health. To learn more, contact us for your appointment. We’re friendly and caring people who want you to experience excellent overall health. And we’re gentle, meaning that most treatments involve no pain or discomfort.
If you’d like to learn more details about how this important topic interacts with your overall health, see the page Periodontal Disease and Diabetes.