Diabetes, which impacts about 30 million people in the United States, surprisingly doesn't just affect your blood sugar. Research has consistently showed that gum disease, including both gingivitis and periodontitis, is linked with diabetes. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes works both ways: individuals with diabetes have a higher chance of developing gum disease, and people with severe gum disease are more prone to have issues controlling their blood glucose levels.
Early stages of gum problems begin as gingivitis, also described as inflammation of the gums. As bacteria invade the gum pockets and inflammation remains, gum recession and bone loss begin to occur in the more severe stages of gum disease, known as periodontitis. People who have diabetes unfortunately have a a harder time clearing bacterial infections, which they are also more at risk for developing. That's why having good oral hygiene practices is so important, especially if you have diabetes or a current diagnosis of periodontal disease. Take a look at how you can manage your oral care with diabetes:
Diet & Exercise
If you're a diabetic, one of the best things to do to maintain overall health is to keep your blood sugar levels controlled. It is best to add exercise into your daily routine and to have a balanced diet. This will help you not only maintain a healthy mouth, but also help lower your risk of developing other complications associated with diabetes, including kidney disease and heart disease.
Regular Dental Visits & Oral Hygiene
Since people with diabetes have greater chances of developing oral infections, it is important to keep a strict routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Also, be sure to clean any oral appliances that you have, such as dentures or retainers, as they often harbor bacteria and left over food particles that can contribute to tooth decay. Scheduling regular dental check-ups is also necessary to ensure that no infections have begun to develop.
Avoid smoking & Poor Oral Habits
Smoking puts you at risk for many health problems such as cancer. It is never too late to quit smoking! Avoiding tobacco products can help you improve your oral and overall health. It is also important to avoid habits like nail biting, as our fingernails harbor a lot of bacteria from the things we touch throughout the day.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emadis happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghaziwould be more than willing to help.