Diabetes has a lot of effects on the body beyond simply causing problems with your blood sugar. If you’re have been diagnosed with any form of diabetes a lot about your life will change, including the importance of proper oral health care!
We see a number of diabetic patients at Panama City Smiles and we like to make sure they understand the importance of good oral care. We’re more than happy to discuss the risks of diabetes with you at your next appointment or continue on to see what’s at risk!
Diabetes And Oral Health: What’s The Connection?
Most every kind of dental problem can be placed in one of two groups: tooth decay and gum disease. These two umbrella groups include all the complications that come from one or the other, including things as extreme as tooth loss.
For diabetic patients there biggest concern is gum disease. Diabetic patients are much more likely to develop gum disease over the course of their lives and when they do it’s harder to treat and often progresses faster!
Diabetes makes it harder for your body to fight infections like gum disease, making the risk not only higher but greater too. A taxed immune system has a harder time fighting off other illnesses as well so don’t risk your body by contracting a highly preventable condition like gum disease!
What Is Gum Disease?
Of all the countless bacteria in your mouth only some are harmful. Those that are generally cause trouble because of the way they metabolize sugar and turn it into acid. That acid can erode enamel and cause problems for your gums too!
Gum disease is caused by those same bacteria getting beneath your gumline. When they slip into the safe space between teeth and gums they’re almost impossible to get out, and you definitely can’t get to them at home!
Your body, sensing an infection, starts to fight back with inflammation of the gums. In the case of many illnesses inflammation is a key part of fighting back but with gum disease it isn’t as successful, so the inflammation continues on and on.
Inflamed and infected gums eventually lose their ability to adhere to your teeth and they pull away, recede, and can even partially die. As your gums recede more of your teeth becomes exposed, which can cause them to loosen and even fall out.
How Does Diabetes Affect Gum Disease?
Besides increasing the risk of developing gum disease diabetes also increases the general rate of inflammation in the body. This is a two way street as well – those with more inflammation tend to develop diabetes and those with diabetes tend to have more inflammation.
With gum inflammation being a major symptom of gum disease you can end up with inflammation that’s worse and which develops faster. Paired with the harder time your body has fighting infection you’re in serious trouble!
Preventing Gum Disease As A Diabetic
The most important part of preventing gum disease is to brush at least twice a day and always floss in the evening. Good oral care habits can keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean despite the presence of diabetes.
It’s also important to see us at Panama City Smiles every six months for an exam and cleaning. This gives us a chance to not only remove any plaque from hard-to-reach places but also to catch gum disease before it can become serious. Depending on your condition and risks we might ask you to come back more frequently.
You also need to be sure your blood sugar is in check. The risks for serious diabetes complications are much higher in patients who have uncontrolled diabetes so make sure you’re keeping an eye on it!
Together We Can Keep You Healthy!
It’s important to work closely with your team at Panama City Smiles to be sure we’re aware of any potential problems. By working together on great in-office and at-home dental care we can be sure you never have to worry about losing teeth due to gum disease.
If you haven’t been to see us in a while now’s the time to schedule an appointment. You can reach our Panama City office by calling (850) 588-0185 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!