Treating Common Gum Problems As A Diabetic

Posted on: 28 January 2015

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will also be informed of the different areas of your health that can be affected. One of these areas is your dental health. The deficiency of insulin in your body can lead to various oral health conditions. It is more important than ever to take good care of your teeth and visit your dentist often if you have diabetes. Here is more information about gum problems and diabetes.

What are the risks associated with diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your oral health becomes more important. You are at a higher risk for gum disease and advanced periodontal disease. You may notice that while you always had healthy pink gums before diabetes, they become red, swollen and infected after you are diagnosed with the medical condition. This is because without proper oral hygiene and frequent dental visits, the diabetes negatively affects your gum health. Much of this has to do with the unusual blood sugar levels in your body.

Why is there a higher risk?

One of the most common reasons you have a higher risk of gum disease when you have diabetes is because of the lower saliva production. You actually need this extra saliva in your mouth to keep it hydrated and to keep your gums healthy. Saliva is not only important for your overall oral health, but it can reduce how bacteria affects your gums. If you have less saliva production, there is a higher chance of bacteria and debris being caught underneath the gums, which leads to gum disease and infection. The blood sugar levels also cause a higher probability of cavities and can speed up the development of gum disease.

How can you prevent issues with your gums?

The best thing you can do for your gums when you have diabetes is practice good oral hygiene. While this is important for anyone, it is even more essential when you have diabetes. You need to brush your teeth and floss twice every day. If you have a high risk of periodontal disease for other reasons, your dentist may recommend brushing your teeth after every meal. Following the right diabetic diet is also crucial, as it keeps your blood sugar levels in check, which reduces your risk of dental issues. Also keep your appointments with your dentist, which should be at least twice a year.

If you think you have periodontal disease and have diabetes, make an appointment with a periodontist as soon as possible. This can be treated, but the sooner the better.