Are Diabetes and Gum Disease Related?

Are Diabetes and Gum Disease Related?

Posted by Wayne H. Mori on Mar 16 2023, 07:30 AM

Diabetes can affect your entire body. It’s also known to cause complications in the gums. If you have diabetes, it’s important to pay special attention to your oral health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, caused by plaque buildup on the teeth and gums. If left untreated, this can cause advanced periodontitis. This occurs when bacteria invade the gums and bone structure around your teeth. This can lead to severe inflammation and bleeding. Over time, it can even result in tooth loss.

How Is Gum Disease Caused?

If blood sugar levels are out of control, the high sugar levels will combine with bacteria in your mouth to form plaque. Plaque buildup leads to cavities and inflamed gums that bleed easily. The inflammation may also cause your body’s immune system cells to attack your gums, leading to periodontal disease. It is especially common to have diabetes-related complications if you have type 2 diabetes because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain proper blood sugar control. Maintaining good oral health is crucial for managing both diseases as well.

How Are Diabetes and Gum Disease Related?

People with uncontrolled diabetes have an increased likelihood of developing gingivitis and other oral health problems. This is because diabetics are more susceptible to infection due to high blood sugar.

Additionally, people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, which can also cause tooth decay and gum disease. As saliva helps neutralize acids in the mouth, salivary flow is reduced when blood sugar levels are high. Therefore, diabetics are at increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease. They can also experience oral candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth that can cause oral thrush. This condition can also make you more prone to developing gum disease.

Ultimately, the best way to prevent these problems is to maintain proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings if you have certain health issues, such as diabetes. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to managing your diabetes and taking medications. If you are concerned that you may have a dental health issue related to your diabetes, talk to your dentist about your concerns. 

If you would like to learn more, contact our office. We look forward to seeing you! Contact us at (503) 230-8814 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

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