Read more of the article about the Diabetes and Gum Disease Connection visit https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month
People who have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body.
Did you know diabetes can also cause problems in your mouth?People with diabetes have a higher chance of having periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to pain, bad breath that doesn’t go away, chewing difficulties, and even tooth loss. Diabetes can also slow down healing, so it can interfere with treatment of periodontal disease.
Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
How Your Dentist Can Help You Fight Diabetes
Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help to lower your HbA1c. (This is a lab test that shows your average level of blood sugar over the previous three months. It indicates how well you are controlling your diabetes.)