How can Gum Disease cause Diabetes?
Severe periodontal disease can increase a person’s blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar levels. Research has indicated that the inflammation associated with periodontal disease may also increase insulin resistance, thereby aggravating glycemic control in a way that is similar to diabetes.
If You Have Diabetes, You may be at Risk for Dental Problems
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease because diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections. Recent studies, including one in the Journal of Periodontology, found that poorly-controlled Type 2 diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than those who have their diabetes under good control.
Whether or not you have diabetes, it is in your best interest to maintain excellent dental hygiene and overall oral health, especially considering that a correlation between oral health and diabetes (and vice-versa) is becoming more evident as research continues to support a connection between the two. Early treatment results in the best outcomes, so be sure to see your periodontist at the first signs of gum disease.
Its a Two-Way Street
Emerging research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way:Not only are people with diabetes more likely to get periodontal disease a chronic infection of the gums but research also suggests that people with chronic,uncontrolled gum infections may be more likely to get diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red, puffy or swollen gums
- Gums that tend to bleed easily
- Gums that separate, or pull away from teeth
- Loose teeth
- Frequent bad breath
- Change in the way your teeth fit together
- Change in the way partials or dentures fit
If you have experienced or are currently experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, tell your dental professional right away. When gum disease is diagnosed in its earliest stage, it can be treated and reversed.
Periodontists specialize in the treatment and prevention of gum disease. To find a periodontist in your area, visit NJperio.org and click on “Find a Periodontist”.
The Association Between Gum Disease & Diabetes
Studies indicate that people with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those who do not have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Factors that Link Diabetes to Gum Disease
- Studies show that people with insufficient blood sugar control seem to develop gum disease more frequently and more severely than people who have good management over their diabetes.
- Diabetes slows circulation, which can also make gum tissue more susceptible to infections.
- Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, which increases the probability of the gums becoming infected.
- High glucose levels in saliva promote growth of bacteria that cause gum disease.
- Poor oral hygiene is a major factor in gum disease for everyone, but it is even more so for a person with diabetes.