Why Your Dentist Is Part of Your Diabetes Treatment Team
No one wants tender gums that bleed and pull away from loosening teeth, creating infections and bad breath. That is why good oral care is vital when you have type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Although anyone can develop gum disease there is a link between high blood sugar and increased incidence of periodontitis. Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is caused by bacterial infections that can eventually destroy attachment fibers and supportive bone that secure the teeth in our mouths.
People with diabetes also tend to have more serious cases of oral disease, which can trigger diabetic complications.
The Glucose and Periodontitis Link
The bacteria that cause gum disease thrive in sugary environments, and people with diabetes have more sugar in their mouths. This is why, along with good dental care, excellent glucose monitoring is the best periodontitis preventive.
People with fluctuating or chronically elevated blood sugar have the highest risk for periodontal disease and more difficulties if a mouth infection sets in. Increased glucose interferes with the body’s ability to heal infections.
On-going periodontitis can also make blood sugar control more problematic. A vicious cycle can occur where the body’s energy (glucose) and immune systems have a negative influence on each other. A severe infection may increase an individual’s insulin requirements, at least until the gum inflammation is healed. Sometimes, hospitalization is required.
Diabetes weakens collagen—an important element in our soft gum tissue and in tissue that connects tooth to bone.
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