What You Need To Know About The Connection Between Periodontal Disease And Diabetes

Dentist Blog

Periodontal disease occurs when you have a bacterial infection in your mouth that's spread below your gum line. It's one of the most common reasons why people lose their teeth since the inflammation caused by the infection can damage the connective tissue that attaches the teeth to the jaw bone. If you have diabetes, then you need to be very vigilant about preventing periodontal disease — you're more likely to develop periodontal disease, and it can cause your diabetes to get worse. To learn about what you need to know about the connection between periodontal disease and diabetes, read on.

Diabetes Makes You More Likely to Develop Periodontal Disease

When you have diabetes, your immune system doesn't function as well. Diabetes causes poor circulation, including in the gums, and this hampers the delivery of white blood cells and antibodies to areas where bacteria may be present, reducing your ability to fight off infection.

Your mouth contains a huge number of bacteria since there is an ample food source — remnants of the food that you eat remain on your teeth and on your gums, and the bacteria in your mouth eat them and multiply. When you have an impaired immune system due to diabetes, it's not able to easily keep the number of bacteria in your mouth under control. Bacteria can grow in the spaces between your teeth and your gums, and they can spread underneath your gum line from there and cause periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Makes It Harder to Control Your Blood Sugar Levels

When people with diabetes develop periodontal disease, their blood sugar levels often increase. Periodontal disease causes an extremely high amount of inflammation in your mouth. Inflammation is one of your body's ways to fight off infection since it can kill bacteria or slow down how fast they reproduce.

One of the ways your body creates inflammation in response to an infection is to produce interleukin-6 in the infected area. IL-6 can enter your bloodstream from the infection in your gums, and it typically increases blood sugar levels. High levels of IL-6 in your blood make it more difficult for your cells to take up insulin, and it also causes your liver to produce less of it. As a result, you'll tend to have higher blood sugar levels compared to someone without periodontal disease.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene Is Vital When You Have Diabetes

Ultimately, you'll need to practice excellent oral hygiene habits if you have diabetes in order to ward off periodontal disease. Brushing at least twice a day is vital since brushing removes bacteria from your gums and your teeth. Flossing is also necessary since floss can remove the bacteria between your teeth that your toothbrush can't reach. Regular brushing and flossing help to compensate for the fact that your immune system can't fight off bacterial infections as readily — while these habits are important for everyone to practice, they're especially important when you have diabetes.

In addition, you should also regularly see a family dentist in your area for dental exams and cleanings. Dental exams can spot signs of gum disease and treat it before it's had a chance to progress into periodontal disease, and cleanings remove more bacteria from your mouth than brushing and flossing alone are capable of. Family dentistry should be an important part of managing your diabetes since it can prevent periodontal disease from becoming a hindrance in managing your blood sugar.

Make an appointment at a family dentistry clinic to discuss your needs with a dentist. 


22 December 2021

Emergency Dental Care

The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.