The Connection Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

The Connection Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

Sep 11, 2013

According to the American Diabetes Association, over 26 million people are living with diabetes. People with the disease are unable to produce or use insulin, resulting in high blood sugar. In addition to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, people with diabetes have an increased risk of oral health complications. The most significant oral health issue for people with diabetes is gum disease.

Recent research has shown that the diabetes and gum disease connection is more advanced than once believed. Not only do people with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease, people with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing diabetes complications.

The relationship between diabetes and susceptibility to infection is what makes it easy for gum disease to develop. People with diabetes have a harder time fighting bacteria in the gums and it also takes longer for them to heal during treatment. Interestingly, treating gum disease in people with diabetes appears to help regulate blood sugar.

  • People with diabetes can benefit from the following when it comes to their oral health:
  • Understanding the risk of developing severe gum disease
  • Being vigilant about professional dental cleanings at least every six months
  • Seeing the dentist for periodontal screenings to treat early signs as soon as possible
  • Notifying the dentist about any changes in your diabetes and diabetes medications

Awareness is an important part of preventing gum disease. If you have diabetes, communicating with your dentist will ensure that the proper steps are taken. It’s your dentist’s goal to work with you to achieve healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.

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