Let’s talk about the link between diabetes and oral health!

Did you know:

  • 29.1 million people in the Unites States are living with diabetes
  • Approximately 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year

Diabetes and Oral Health 

Many people living with diabetes don’t even know. Diabetes is a complex disease that has many effects on your body and overall health, but did you know that it also affects your mouth?

Diabetes can result in your mouth producing less saliva, saliva is essential in protecting your teeth from cavities. Diabetes can also result in:

  • inflamed and bleeding gums
  • delayed wound healing
  • susceptibility to oral infections
  • higher chance of developing periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease causes bone loss in your mouth, bad breath and can lead to tooth loss.

It is important for a diabetic to frequently check their mouth for sores and/or inflamed and bleeding gums. If you notice either of these problems, it is essential to talk with your dentist.  The best prevention for these problems is good oral hygiene and management of your diabetes.  People with out-of-control diabetes get gum disease more often and more severely than those with well controlled blood glucose. Therefore, it’s extra important to maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist often to reduce the chance of gum disease and other health complications.

Learn More about the Health Risks of Gum Disease HERE.

What is Gum Disease?

Basically, gum disease happens when plaque builds up along and under the gum line. Filled with bacteria, plaque is a sticky film-like substance that can cause tooth decay, infections, and gum disease. Plaque is also the culprit behind gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. When you begin to experience gingivitis, your gums may become:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Inflamed
  • Tender
  • Prone to bleeding

Notice the link? Many of these symptoms are similar to those suffered by diabetics.

Stages of Gum Disease

At this early stage of gum disease, your teeth and bone holding your teeth where they are aren’t yet impacted –  the damage can be controlled and is reversible. Yay! With diligent brushing and flossing, and twice-a-year exams and cleanings with your dentist, your gum disease can improve significantly and can go away.

Related Article: Diabetes and Dental Care: A Guide to a Healthy Mouth 

The later stages of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, aren’t as easy to reverse. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis affects the bone and teeth. Sometimes teeth may need to be removed and more advanced treatment by your dentist will be needed to combat the later stages of gum disease. It’s simple to see why we want to focus this article on diabetes and oral health now isn’t it?

Learn More about How to Prevent Gum Disease HERE.

Gum Disease Effects More Than Just Your Mouth

While knowing about and treating gum disease is extremely important for your dental/oral health, it’s also crucial to remember that your body is all connected, so if one area suffers, your whole body with feel the effects. The same can be said about gum disease. It affects more than just your mouth. In fact, according to WebMD, inflammation in the gums is directly linked with other health problems, including:

  • Heart attacks
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Premature birth

Learn More about the Dangers of Plaque and Gingivitis  to Your Health HERE.

Related Article: Preventing Cavities: How Important is Nutrition to Oral Health?

Helpful Tips for a Healthy Smile:

  • Brush twice daily for 2 minutes each time and floss daily
  • Control your blood glucose
  • Routine dental checkups and cleanings
  • Let your dentist know of any sores or problems with your teeth as soon as you notice it.
  • Avoid tobacco use

When almost half of Americans suffer some form of gum disease, why wait?

Now you understand why gum care and keeping your gums healthy is such an important task – they keep your teeth in place! AND you know what to do to help keep you and your smile in the best possible health and avoid Gum Disease.

Luff Dental Keeps Your Smile Healthy 

If you have questions or concerns about your diabetes and oral health, please give us a call, the expert team at the office of Luff Dental will be happy to schedule your dental appointment and help you keep your gums, teeth and mouth healthy. Call 816-875-3391 to schedule your dental appointment or smile consultation.

Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.