Diabetes, which kills more people annually than breast cancer and AIDS, can weaken your mouth’s ability to fight germs, increase blood sugar levels, and can make gum disease more severe and harder to control. When diabetes is poorly controlled, high glucose levels in mouth fluids may help germs grow and set the stage for gum disease. These “bugs” sit below the gum line and act as termites, eating away at your bone. But tooth loss is not the only consequence of gum disease. New research has shown this link to diabetes as well as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and even increased risk for problems related to pregnancy.
The relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
Smoking increases the risk for gum disease. If you are a smoker with diabetes, age 45 or older, you are 20 times more likely than a person without these risk factors to get severe gum disease, bone loss and tooth loss.
Imagine life without gum disease. Without gum disease, you can live longer, increase the quality of life, keep your natural teeth, taste food better, prevent other oral diseases, infections and cavities, and have increased salivary function. Other symptoms such as poor wound healing, pain in the tongue and burning mouth can also be decreased by controlling gum disease.
Proper dental treatment and maintaining your healthy teeth and gums makes living life free of gum disease easy!
Use good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after each meal and floss daily. Using a tongue scraper will also help to rid bacteria. To help prevent or control gum disease, begin a self care program today.
See your dentist regularly. How often you see your dentist depends on couple of factors: severity of periodontal (gum) disease, the rate at which plaque and tarter build up and how well you care for your teeth and gums at home. The Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health states that good oral health is integral to general health.
Control your blood sugar. Maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar will help control diabetes as well as helping your body fight off infections and may even lessen the severity of periodontal disease. Follow your physicians dietary and medication instructions and let your health care provider know if you are having problems controlling your blood sugar.