In the US alone, there are currently around 30 million people living with diabetes and another 86 million with pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes a person to have high blood sugar, for a long period of time. People that have diabetes can suffer from a wide variety of health issues and we are learning more and more about the relationship between diabetes and having a healthy mouth.
As diabetes progresses, so does the likelihood of an individual developing chronic periodontitis or disease of the gum tissues. If a patient that has diabetes develops periodontitis or gum disease, it’s likely the both conditions will worsen if both are not treated and kept under control. There is huge amount research currently being done regarding uncontrolled diabetes and its interference with glucose (sugar) regulation in the body. Interference with glucose regulation makes the diabetic condition worse; leading to other medical conditions. Diabetic patients commonly have swollen and inflamed gums and can notice a bad taste in their mouth. When our gums become inflamed, our inflammatory response sends mediators into the blood stream which cause a negative effect on glucose regulation, therefore worsening the diabetic condition.
By properly treating periodontal disease, sugar levels have a much better chance of returning to a more normal state and improving overall health. Home care for a diabetic should be strict and consist of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and seeing a dentist twice a year. In some cases, diabetics may need to see a dentist more often. Please contact your dental team at Norman Dental if you have any questions or concerns about how diabetes can affect your overall health.