The entire body is a complicated machine that thrives off of how the systems of the body work together. It may seem as if the mouth is unrelated to certain bodily systems, but in fact it is tied into every aspect of your overall health. One way specifically is how your oral health affects diabetes.
Simply put, diabetes is related to poor blood glucose control. There is a great deal of evidence showing an increased prevalence of gum disease among those who have diabetes because they are more susceptible to bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to battle bacteria that naturally occurs inside the mouth.
Dental plaque is the number one cause of gum disease. This acid-producing, bacteria-laden film that develops on the teeth each day leaves the entire mouth vulnerable. Dental plaque must be removed by flossing every day to keep the mouth as healthy as possible between professional cleanings. If dental plaque is not removed daily, it will accumulate on the gum line, surfaces of the teeth, and between the teeth – causing significant damage in just a short amount of time. The development of gum disease is typically faster in those who have diabetes because of the fact that diabetes slows blood circulation, leaving the gum tissue more vulnerable to infection. It is also important that diabetics understand that their bodies have a more difficult time fighting off infection once it occurs due to the body’s lowered resistance to gum disease.
Diabetes promotes the growth of bacteria due to the high level of glucose in their saliva. Because oral bacteria thrive off of sugars left behind after eating and drinking, the bacteria within a diabetic’s mouth are in overdrive. The excessive amount of sugars caused by both diet and blood glucose levels, leave the mouth inclined to gum damage and gum disease. Signs that gum infection or gum disease have begun and need to be addressed by your dentist immediately include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gum recession
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing
- Loose teeth
- Frequent bad breath or bad taste within your mouth
- Change in the way your teeth (natural, partials, or dentures) fit together
Maintaining good control over your blood sugar levels is vital for those with diabetes, and maintaining optimal oral health is also essential. Dr. Wayne G. Suway has over 35 years of experience helping patients achieve and maintain proper oral health. If you have diabetes, it is important that you make this known to Dr. Suway so that he can give your oral health the specific care it needs. Call our practice today.