Posted on 3/17/2018 by Beautiful Smiles Office
|It is widely known that diabetes affects our vision and important parts of our bodies, like our nervous system and our heart. But many don't realize the reciprocal link between diabetes and periodontal diseases.
Poor control of blood sugar is actually what causes many of these issues, both in our mouths and in the rest of our body. Those who are careful to control their blood sugar levels have the same incidence of periodontal disease as those who are not diabetic. If glucose levels are not properly maintained, the risk of gum disease and tooth loss increases substantially.
How They Work Hand-in-Hand
Periodontal diseases start with gingivitis and progress into periodontitis. They are inflammation of the gums and the fibers that hold our teeth in place. Eventually, the gums begin to recede, resulting in pockets between the tooth and gums. The pockets deepen and the destruction of the alveolar bone is largely irreversible.
Diabetics have triple the chance of gum disease if their glucose levels are not maintained. Conversely, periodontitis also negatively affects the body's glucose levels, compromising glycemic management.
Diabetes also causes changes to the blood vessels, thickening them, thus causing the delivery of oxygen and other nourishment to slow, affecting the mouth, as well as other body systems.
Our blood vessels also carry away waste products, which increases the chance of infection of bone and gum tissue. Other issues of the mouth that can be a problem for diabetics with poor glucose control are thrush and dry mouth.
Certain medications cause a decrease in saliva production and dry mouth is one of the symptoms of unchecked diabetes and is often one way people find out they're diabetic. Saliva is our mouth's natural defender against bacteria, as it washes excess bacteria away and neutralizes the acids the result from sugar mixing with bacteria.
If you are diabetic, or suspect you are, call us today to schedule an appointment to stay on top of any as yet undetected or even known issues. Diabetics should be seen every 6 months for optimal oral and bodily health.
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