Most people with diabetes are aware of the way the disease affects their nerves, eyes, kidney, and heart. Unfortunately, they often don't realize the link between gum disease and diabetes until they have lost teeth, suffer from painful chewing, or experienced other unpleasant consequences. If you are diabetic, it is imperative that you keep your blood sugar under control to avoid the complications of periodontal disease.
How Diabetes Threatens the Mouth
Diabetes thickens blood vessels, including those inside of your mouth. When your blood vessels are compromised, it slows the delivery of nutrients as well as the removal of waste products from the tissues of your mouth. Gum and bone tissue are more susceptible to infection when in this condition. When infection occurs, it increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. High levels of sugar, also known as glucose, in the mouth encourage the growth of bacteria. This creates an environment where germs thrive and gum disease often follows.
People who smoke are five times likelier to develop gum disease than non-smokers are. When you add diabetes into the equation, the risk jumps to twenty-fold, especially for people over age 45.
Working Together to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy
When you schedule your first appointment at Samuels Dental Arts P.C., be sure to let us know that you have diabetes. It is also helpful for us to know the medication you take and whether you currently have good control of your blood sugar levels. This affects how our dentists create and carry out your treatment plan. We recommend that you come in for routine cleaning at least twice per year and let us know about any unusual new developments with your teeth or gums.
In the event that you need oral surgery, such as the placement of a dental implant to replace teeth or hold a denture, healing may take longer due to your diabetes. However, your risk of complications aren't any higher than those of the average patient. We work with your medical provider to limit risks and provide you with high quality dental care.