Diabetes is a chronic condition that is commonly characterized by the body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar levels. This can often lead to long term damage to the body’s organs. One such organ affected by diabetes is the mouth. Individuals with diabetes are often at a higher risk of developing gum diseases like periodontitis.
The link between diabetes and periodontitis has been established through several clinical studies. These studies have shown that people suffering from both conditions tend to experience worse periodontal health than those who are not diagnosed with diabetes.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a condition where bacteria build up under the gums and around the roots of your teeth. As the bacteria grow, they produce toxins that damage the tissues surrounding your teeth.
The first sign of periodontitis may be bleeding gums. Your dentist may notice that your gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing. Other signs include bad breath, dry mouth, loose teeth, pain while chewing, and sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
However, over time, the damage caused by periodontitis can weaken the bones that support your teeth and eventually lead to tooth loss. In addition, studies have found links between periodontitis and trouble regulating blood sugar levels, which directly has a direct correlation with diabetic tendencies.
If you think you might suffer from periodontitis, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as you can. Early detection and treatment can help prevent further damage to your oral health.
The Cycle of Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
Periodontitis and diabetes can have a harmful synergistic relationship. Studies have found that people who had periodontitis were more likely to develop diabetes than those without periodontitis.
On the other hand, Diabetes can also be a factor in the onset and development of Periodontal Disease. Calcification occurs in and around small blood vessel structures, causing further degeneration of supporting tissue. Periodontal disease occurs more frequently in people who suffer from diabetes than in those without diabetes. Diabetic patients usually have less effective immune systems, and can be more susceptible to infections.
In the co-occurrence of these two conditions, they can both exacerbate the severity of the other illness. This cycle can cause a spiraling degradation in your health and quality of life at an accelerated rate. Therefore, it is vital to get help from your dentist and your doctor, as well as take steps to prevent
Preventing Periodontal Disease When You Have Diabetes
Managing periodontitis tends to be more difficult among people who have diabetes due to the fact that diabetes lowers the ability to fight off infections and slows down healing. An infection like periodontitis may also raise your blood sugar levels, making your diabetes harder to control. By preventing and treating periodontal disease regularly, you can improve blood sugar control. Here are some ways to prevent periodontal disease when having diabetes:
- Keep your teeth healthy by brushing and flossing twice daily, typically after meals. Brushing and flossing helps remove plaque and food particles that could get stuck under your gums.
- See your doctor for regular checkups. Regular visits will allow your doctor to monitor your progress and determine whether you need additional treatment.
- Drink plenty of water. Water keeps your mouth moist and helps flush away bacteria and debris.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can dry out your mouth and increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
- Do not smoke. Smoking causes inflammation and irritation in your body, including your mouth.
- Eat foods low in carbohydrates and high in fiber.
- Avoid sugary drinks.
- Get enough sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly.
- Manage your stress.
- Take medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Follow the dietary recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.
- Visit your dentist regularly, twice a year at the minimum.
- Avoid biting your nails. Nail biting can irritate your gums.
Let Treasure Valley Help Manage Diabetes to Improve Your Oral Health
Diabetes can cause immense complications for your oral health. Your mouth gets irritated by plaque and bacteria. You may lose some teeth if you don’t take care of your teeth.
People who control their blood sugar are less likely to develop gum disease. This means that controlling your blood sugar levels may help prevent gum disease.
Effective diabetes management requires constant care and monitoring. This includes monitoring blood glucose levels, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking medication as prescribed by your doctor. At Treasure Valley Metabolic Medicine, we treat your health as our number one priority.
Contact us or call us at (208) 274-9580 today!