The Link Between Periodontal Disease & Diabetes
Roughly 30 million people suffer from diabetes in North America. Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects your body’s ability to process sugar. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications including problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart.
Did you know that diabetes could also cause problems with your gums?
Surprisingly, people with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gum and bone that support teeth. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The more advanced phase of gum disease is called periodontal disease. As periodontal disease progresses, your gums may begin to pull away from your teeth, and little pockets may form between your teeth and gums. These pockets are ideal for the growth of bacteria and can lead to infections that will destroy the bone around your teeth, loosen your teeth, and eventually, cause tooth loss.
Is there an association between periodontal disease and diabetes?
There is a mounting body of evidence suggesting that there is a strong link between periodontal disease and diabetes. In fact, people with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop periodontal disease when compared to healthy individuals.
Why is the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease important for diabetics?
It is very important for diabetics to actively prevent and treat periodontal disease because there is a bilateral relationship between these two diseases. Not only is someone with diabetes more susceptible to periodontal disease, but research also suggests that periodontal disease can actually lead to worsening diabetes.
How can I help prevent periodontal disease associated with diabetes?
* Control your blood glucose level.
* Tell your dental professional that you have diabetes.
* Schedule regular dental check-ups every 6 months, or even more often if recommended by your dental professional.
* Tell your dental professional about any changes in your condition or medications.
* If your blood sugar is not well controlled, postpone any non-emergency dental procedures.