Preventing Periodontal Disease While Dealing with Diabetes
Periodontal disease affects the gum and bones that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, can affect anyone, especially if proper dental hygiene isn’t practiced. Unfortunately, people with diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar are often more susceptible to more severe periodontal disease. Here’s what you need to know about gum disease and diabetes.
How They’re Related
Dentists will tell you that brushing and flossing is vital for preventing gum disease. The same is true for diabetics; however, diabetes creates disadvantages many other people don’t have. With diabetes, it is more difficult for nutrients to flow and for waste to be removed. That means that the gums have more difficulty receiving oxygen and other nourishment. The result is that the gums are less resistant to infection. In addition, high blood sugar in poorly controlled diabetics means that the mouth also has high glucose levels, which makes it easier for bacteria to thrive. In addition, the ketones released in higher levels in uncontrolled diabetics dramatically affects the blood flow in small capillaries found in the bone and tissue surrounding teeth. A reduced blood flow significantly increases the likelihood of gum disease. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of gum disease if you also have diabetes.
Control Blood Sugar
Controlling blood sugar is always easier said than done. However, blood sugar control is just as important for your overall health as it is for your teeth and gums. Controlling blood sugar through diet substantially reduces your chances of severe gum disease because there’s less sugar intake and as a result less sugar for bacteria to feed on. This bacteria causes plaque, gingivitis, and periodontitis, all of which are different stages of gum disease.
No Smoking with Diabetes
Smoking drastically increases the risk of gum disease as well. Studies confirm that smoking combined with diabetes dramatically increase the risk that you’ll develop gum disease. So if you currently smoke, it’s important to stop as soon as possible to avoid possibly devastating effects of gum disease like severe infection and tooth loss. Several aids to help quit smoking are available.
Proper Dental Care
Brushing and flossing regularly, especially right after eating, will significantly reduce chances of periodontal disease. In addition, be sure to get proper dental care to make sure dental problems are resolved quickly. A trusted dentist can suggest further prevention tips and watch for signs of gum disease to make sure it’s identified and treated in its earliest stages. Contact Turner Dental Care to get more information about preventing gum disease as a diabetic.