Diabetes is a serious problem. Whether you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are at risk for many different health problems. The key to keeping your health when you have diabetes is to know what to look out for. There is a connection between diabetes and gum disease that you may not know about.
What Happens to Diabetics?
Diabetics either do not produce enough insulin in the pancreas or do not produce any insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Diabetics run the risk of their blood sugar going too high or going too low. The fluctuating blood sugar levels can affect many different parts of the body including the gums.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
Bacteria in the mouth are harmful to both the teeth and gums. If bacteria are not removed, it can build up and form plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar can cause gum disease. If a diabetic's blood sugar levels are high, the bacteria can flourish. The sugar allows them to grow faster and makes it harder to remove the bacteria and prevent plaque from forming.
Diabetes also affects the blood vessels in the body. The blood in the vessels supplies oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body including gum tissue. It also carries away waste products from the gums. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause the blood vessels to thicken and can restrict the flow of blood in the body. That stops the blood from providing the gums with what it needs and can lead to problems with gum disease.
There is little doubt that there is a connection between diabetes and gum disease, but that does not mean it has to happen. The best thing a person with diabetes can do to prevent gum disease is to control their sugars. People who control their blood sugar at not at a higher risk for gum disease. Combine controlling blood sugar with other good oral health habits and the chance of gum disease drops.
For more information about this and other oral health issues, contact our offices to schedule an appointment.