How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

Current estimates by the Center for Disease Control show over 100 million citizens of the United States have diabetes, or are about to be diagnosed with it. Diabetes is a serious disease that can make a person more prone to infection. This means diabetics are more susceptible to attacks from the germs and bacteria prevalent in the human mouth, including gum disease.

Doctors fully inform diabetics about the dangers that sugar brings to their health, so most diabetics abstain from it or eat very little. Since sugary foods are one of the main sources of tooth decay and cavities, it might seem that diabetics would be less prone to dental problems. Ironically, they are in just as much danger, if not more so, due to their condition.

Doubling Down on the Risks

Research indicates there might be a relation between periodontal disease and diabetes. For instance, both diseases increase chances of systemic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, or pregnancy complications. Both gum disease and diabetes affect the immune system. When it comes to symptoms, inflammation is a strong indication your immune system is fighting an infection. Both diabetes and gum disease can result in chronic inflammation, which often leads to internal damage.

Additional research shows a person with both diabetes and gum disease has double the risk of heart attack, and up to eight times the risk of kidney disease. Severe periodontal disease destabilizes blood sugar levels, and that unsteadiness increases over time. Basically, both of these two diseases, gum disease and diabetes, compromise your body so that the other one can do more damage to your health.

What Can Be Done?

Interestingly, when diabetics are treated for periodontal disease, they often show improved general health, better blood sugar levels, and even an improved metabolism. However, the Marconi Dental Group is fully aware that every mouth is different, and so is every person. The interaction of these two diseases must be handled delicately – there is no such thing as a blanket treatment, and multiple procedures might be involved in your journey to better health. Such procedures might include scaling and root planing (a type of deep cleaning for the gums), antibiotic therapy, and a detailed oral hygiene routine.

Many individuals are listed as prediabetic, or on the verge of contracting Type II diabetes. If you are such an individual, your medical specialist likely described actions to avoid contracting the disease, such as keeping your weight down and maintaining a healthy diet. Along with these, a moderate exercise program is usually recommended. Since high blood pressure is another complication between diabetes and gum disease, moderate exercise helps control all three conditions significantly.

If you are diabetic and looking for dentists in Carmichael, know that the Marconi Dental Group is aware of the interactions between diabetes and oral health. Please let us know if you are diabetic or are at risk of diabetes, so that we can help you maintain your health successfully. To further discuss the connections between diabetes and gum disease, or to consult with a dentist about all of the options in your specific case, please schedule an appointment online or call the Marconi Dental Group directly at (916) 589-6462.