Do you know that there is a link between uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes and gum disease? Diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease (periodontitis) than people who have healthy blood sugar levels. The relationship goes both ways; research indicates that having a serious gum infection can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Taking care of your mouth, whether you have diabetes or not, is more important than you may be aware of. And visiting your dentist and hygienist regularly to keep on top of gum health with diabetes is more important than many people realise.
Gum disease is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. The germs in plaque infect the teeth and gums, leading to gingivitis, the first stage of this disease. If left untreated, this oral health condition can result in tissue damage and eventual tooth loss. The more serious stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. People with periodontitis have a higher risk of diabetes. What’s more, those with diabetes are three times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
Gum disease is very common and most people are affected by it at one stage in their life. But when you have diabetes, you’re more at risk (this risk factor is also higher in smokers).
People with Type 2 diabetes are around three times more likely to develop dental problems than people who don’t have diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes are also more at risk.
One of the most common causes is having high blood sugar levels for a long period of time. High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in your gums. This makes them more likely to be inflamed and become infected.
Gum disease and infection can in turn increase your blood sugar levels, which can lead to other complications like heart disease.
Patients with severe periodontal disease and diabetes are three times more likely to develop kidney failure, have a higher risk of death from coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease.
Untreated periodontal disease affects glycemic control. The treatment of periodontal disease reduces average blood glucose (sugar) levels by an average of 0.4. Putting this into perspective; each 1 reduction is associated with a 21 reduction of deaths related with diabetes, a 37 reduction for myocardial complications, and reduced need for insulin administration and medications. (Simpson TC , Needleman I, Wild SH et al: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010)
Looking after your teeth and gums should be a basic part of how you manage your diabetes, because you can prevent potential complications or spot them early enough to get the right treatment from your dentist. We’ve got information on how to keep your mouth healthy. A big part of this is about regularly checking your blood sugars and trying to keep to your target range.
It can be successfully treated, especially if caught early. Management includes improving your oral health routine and by having an intensive course of treatment, in which the teeth are thoroughly cleaned by a dental hygienist, and regular dental check-ups. It is important to understand that the treatment of periodontal disease is a partnership between the patient and the hygienist & dentist who care for the patient. Achieving and maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments are a lifelong commitment.
Treatment also involves stopping smoking and having a healthy diet and lifestyle. People who smoke respond less well to treatment than non-smokers.
At Dental Solutions we welcome patients from all dental practices. For any patients who may be nervous, we offer longer appointments to ensure the treatment is as comfortable as possible. We also use local or topical anaesthetic for any sensitive areas. We offer specialised hygienist treatments beyond scaling and polishing. Our advanced Airflow teeth cleaning system will clean with outstanding results; it is a comfortable, advanced treatment for sustained bacteria reduction. After every visit, the hygienist will recommend the best time to come back to help maintain a healthy mouth.
For more information on any of the services we offer, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of our friendly team on 01925 756565 for a consultation.