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The Link between Diabetes and Gum Disease

Gum disease is a chronic bacterial disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease is one of the lesser known complications of living with diabetes however it is becoming more and more common. Its thought that a third of all diabetics will suffer from gum disease at some stage of their disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease is a serious infection that if left untreated can cause major problems for your mouth including loss of teeth. So why does diabetes affect your oral health? well read on…

With diabetes come a list of functions that are impaired within your body. This includes thickened blood vessels which reduces the efficiency of the flow of nutrients and removal of wastes from body tissues. The impaired blood flow leads to weakening of gums and bone, making them more prone to infections. If diabetes is badly managed it can lead to higher glucose levels in the mouth,which will encourage the growth of bacteria that can cause gum disease.

Its all about controlling your diabetes. If you control your diet well and concentrate on good oral hygiene you have a lower risk of developing gum disease but if your diabetes is badly managed then your one the diabetics at a high risk of contracting periodontal disease. And once you have the disease especially for sufferers of diabetes it can be hard to shift, the relationship between diabetes and gum disease goes both ways – periodontal disease makes it harder for those who have diabetes to control their blood sugar levels as it increase the blood sugar in the body. The more severe the gum disease the more of a increase there is in blood sugar. This means there could be periods of time when a diabetics blood sugar is higher than it should be. Thus leading to an increased risk of diabetic complications.

The best advice for anyone who does suffer from diabetes is to take good care of your teeth and diet. Diabetics who receive good dental care and have good insulin control tend to be the ones who are less likely to develop gum disease. Diet and exercise may be the most important change a diabetic patient can make to improve their quality of life and oral health. An if your blood sugar levels are not under control speak to your dentist or doctor about receiving elective dental care. Making morning appointments can also help , because blood sugar levels tend to be under better control at this particular time of day. Remember being a diabetic isn’t the end of the world….just make sure you control the disease so the disease cant control you.