If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of oral health problems. Diabetes weakens the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight off infections. Diabetes also causes problems with blood flow to the gums and teeth. This decreases the body’s ability to fight infection, which can lead to tooth loss.
The Link Between Diabetes And Oral Health
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for gum disease, but the two conditions are also connected in other ways. Gum disease raises your blood glucose levels, and high glucose levels can increase your risk for gum disease. In fact, recent research shows that diabetic individuals with gum disease may be seven times more likely to have coronary artery disease.
This is largely due to inflammation caused by bacteria in your gums, which can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke by causing plaque to build up in your arteries and hardening them over time. The best way to prevent these problems is to practice good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist regularly for cleanings. He or she will monitor your oral health and provide treatment as needed to protect your mouth from harm.
You should also discuss your concerns regarding heart disease or other cardiovascular problems with your dentist during your checkup. Your mouth is often the first indicator of medical conditions like diabetes or heart problems, so it’s important to connect with your dentist regularly to diagnose and treat any underlying issues as early as possible.
Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, including your gums and bone structure. When left untreated, periodontal disease can result in tooth decay, tooth loss, and other serious health problems. Bacteria in the mouth cause inflammation in the gums, which is the first stage of periodontitis. Inflamed gums bleed easily when brushed or flossed, and they can be red and swollen as well. As the infection progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can trap food and plaque. If bacteria are not removed daily through brushing and flossing, the infection can reach deeper into your bone structure and affect your jawbones.
Symptoms of gum disease include bad breath, loose or sensitive teeth, headaches, and backaches, gums that are swollen or tender to the touch, and red or bleeding gums. Gum disease may also lead to more cavities since weakened gum tissues cannot fight bacteria as well as healthy tissue can. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about scheduling an appointment for a periodontal exam and cleaning.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Elite Dental, West St. Paul, MN, call (952) 432-1716 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 7300 147th St., W., Suite 108, West St. Paul, MN.