Diabetes And Gum Disease 101

Many times, a diabetic person is prone to more oral health issues than an occasional tooth cavity. In fact, diabetes patients must frequently check in with a dental professional to avoid gum or periodontal disease. Diabetes is a serious illness that requires not only dietary changes and having insulin on hand, but regular visits to the dentist.

Why Diabetes Patients Are More Prone To Periodontal Diseases

Diabetes And Gum Disease 101

With the onset of diabetes, a thickening of the vessels carrying blood, oxygen and nourishment to the body tissues occurs throughout the body. Most people forget that those vessels affect mouth tissues and bone matter, including teeth.

As the blood vessels continue to thicken, the movement of waste products from the tissues slows down and weakens the immune system’s response to resisting disease. Gum tissue and the teeth become more vulnerable to infection.

Other Issues That Affect Diabetics

Diabetes And Gum Disease 101

1) There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Some germs feed on sugars such as glucose — the type of sugar that affects diabetes. If a diabetic has poorly controlled sugar levels, glucose levels will rise in their mouth cavity, making a person more likely to have a mouth full of germs. This opens the door for gum disease.

2) Thrush, an infection in the mouth caused by fungus, is another concern. The thrush fungus loves high glucose levels in the saliva. Moreover, smoking or wearing dentures (without taking them off and cleaning them) also invites thrush infections.

The good news is that thrush is easily treatable. It can be avoided if you:

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  • Make frequent dentist visits
  • Take prescribed medication
  • Maintain control over your glucose levels
  • Avoid smoking
  • Remove and clean your dentures daily

Your Best Defense

If you already have gum disease, having a family or primary physician contact your oral physician is vitally important. Your dentist also needs to be informed of any medication you may be taking.

Since periodontal or gum disease makes it difficult to keep your blood sugar level at a controlled level, you must always know your sugar levels before starting treatment with a family oral physician.

Diabetes And Gum Disease 101

Common Oral Health Problems Found In Diabetes Patients:

  • Gum disease
  • Excessive tooth decay
  • Fungal infection
  • Lessened taste
  • Slow-healing infections

A caring family physician and dentist are your allies in the fight against both diabetes and other illnesses. The Canadian Diabetes Association says there are more than 1,000 newly diagnosed diabetes patients in Ontario each week. There are 2.4 million Canadians with diabetes.

Call our Burlington office today to schedule an appointment with a family dentist. Any of our friendly staff members will be happy to provide more information at (905) 330-3000.