Medical professionals have discovered that there is a link between the disease diabetes and gum disease. People who have diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease and have to be a great deal more careful with their oral health. Gum disease is an infection that starts small in the tissues of the gums and bones and gets worse over time. Gum disease has been connected to diabetes, stroke and also heart disease.
Factors Connecting Diabetes to Gum Disease
Research studies have shown that individuals who have an insufficient amount of control over their level of blood sugar are more inclined to develop gum disease and do so more frequently than do individuals with diabetes that are better able to control this problem.
Diabetes is a disease that slows down the circulation of the blood and can in turn make the tissues of the gums more prone to any number of infections. Diabetes also plays a key role in decreasing the bodys ability to resist infections, both bacterial and viral and this makes it extremely possible for the gums to get infected.
The saliva that is present in the mouth has an impact on gum disease and when there are high glucose levels in saliva as is common in those who suffer from diabetes, this means that more bacteria are present which can then increase the chances of even more bacteria forming and wreaking havoc in the mouth.
Diabetes and smoking on their own are both health concerns but put together they are even more worrisome. Individuals who smoke and have diabetes are at a greater risk of developing gum disease than are those people who just smoke but do not have diabetes. The two things together create a very big health problem.
Oral hygiene is essential for everyone and the better it is, the less likely that gum disease will set in. Excellent oral hygiene is particularly important for those who have diabetes, as poor oral hygiene is a common reason for diabetics to develop gum disease in the first place. In some cases it may not be the number one reason but it is a contributing factor.
When you have diabetes it is important to be able to recognize the signs that gum disease may be starting. The sooner you realize that you are developing gum disease, the sooner something can be done about it.
The most obvious signs of gum disease include red, puffy and swollen gums, gums that are likely to bleed very easily, loose teeth or gums that are showing signs of pulling away from the teeth, constant bad breath that never seems to go away, changes in the way teeth fit together when the mouth is closed and changes in the way dentures or partial fit in the mouth (if you have any of these things).
As a diabetic be aware of what extra measures you muse take to maintain above average oral hygiene such as eating a healthy, well balanced diet, quitting smoking and maintaining proper control over your blood sugar level.