Living With Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to be Aware of
Diabetes can lead to a whole host of health problems, but did you know that it can also put you at risk for dental issues? The implications of high blood sugar extend to every part of the body — including teeth and gums. When it comes to diabetes, teeth and gum problems are something you need to be aware of.
Diabetes: Teeth and Gum Problems to Look Out For
Here are few of the ways diabetes can wreak havoc on your mouth, and how you can prevent this damage from occurring if you are one of the 21.9 million people in the U.S. who suffer from diabetes.
Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums, which increases the risk for gum disease. This risk is amplified if you had poor dental health prior to being diagnosed with diabetes.
Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is less serious, but can develop into periodontitis if left untreated. In addition to cutting off blood to the gums, diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation caused by the bacteria in the form of plaque. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the more it irritates the gingiva — the part of your gums around the base of your teeth.
The main symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as these symptoms develop so the problem can be addressed.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which affects the tissue and bones that support your teeth. In addition to red bleeding gums, other symptoms incl Continue reading