Important Information On The Relation Between Diabetes And Gum Disease


diabetes and gum diseaseThe following are answers to some of the questions people with diabetes ask concerning diabetes and gum disease:

1. Does any link exist between gum infection and diabetes?

For the close to 21 million Americans with diabetes, many of them may be stunned to learn about an unanticipated complication related to this condition. A study has revealed that the prevalence of gum disease among people with diabetes has increased. This has added gum disease to the list of various complications related to diabetes, including heart ailments, stroke and kidney disease.

2. Does gum disease somehow affect diabetes and vice versa?

Emerging studies show that the link between severe gum disease and diabetes is collaborative. In addition to susceptibility to developing gum disease, diabetic people with severe gum disorder, also referred to as periodontitis, can have their blood glucose management affected. Consequently, this can contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Research also suggests that people with diabetes are at a higher risk for oral health complications including gingivitis (a primary stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (severe gum disease). Such people are at a greater risk for severe gum disease since they are generally more prone to bacterial infection and have a lower ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

Good oral health is vital to general health. This is in accordance with the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral health. You should ensure that you brush and floss appropriately and visit your dentist for dental check-ups on regular basis.

3. Is a person with diabetes in danger of dental complications?

In case a person’s glucose levels are not well controlled, the probability of developing severe gum disease and losing more teeth than non-diabetics is higher. Just like all disorders, severe gum disease may be a factor triggering high blood sugar levels and is likely to make diabetes more difficult to manage.

Thrush, an infection normally caused by fungus growing in the mouth, and dry mouth, which is capable of causing discomfort, ulcers, infections as well as cavities are the additional oral problems linked to diabetes.

4. How can one help avert dental problems related to diabetes?

The first priority is to manage blood sugar level. Secondly, good care should be taken for teeth and gums and a check-up should be done every six months. To keep thrush (a fungal infection) under control, a good diabetic management should be maintained.  Smoking should be shunned and a person should remove and clean dentures every day if he wears them. Proper blood glucose control can also be helpful in prevention or relief of dry mouth caused by diabetes.

5. What should a diabetic person expect at the check-up? Should a disclosure be made to the dental specialist about an individual’s diabetes?

People with diabetes have special needs. Dentists and hygienists are well equipped to meet those needs with the help of the person. The dentist and hygienist should be kept informed of any variations in a person’s condition, plus any medicine they might be taking. Any non-emergency dental procedures should be postponed if blood sugar levels are not under proper control.