Diabetic? Give Oral Health Added Attention

posted: January 18, 2017

If you are diabetic, you’re in lots of company. The prevalence of diabetes has increased dramatically in recent decades and is expected to triple in the next ten years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared diabetes to be at a pandemic level. A report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health states that diabetes is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.” 

For those who are not familiar with diabetes, it is a metabolic disease that compromises the body’s ability to properly secrete or manage insulin. This results in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Diabetes is a leading cause of death because of the vascular complications attributed to the disease.

The most common types of diabetes are type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin-dependent). According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes with initial symptoms emerging after age 45. Early indications of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums.

The emergence of diabetes through oral problems is typical even though the general public rarely associates one with the other. For those in the medical and scientific field, it makes perfect sense. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. Other inflammatory diseases (such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and coronary artery disease) have been linked to gum disease by numerous research studies.

Signs of gum disease

Periodontal disease is not only cited as the sixth greatest complication of diabetes, research has shown that one tends to trigger the other. Gum disease has been found to occur more frequently – and with greater severity in diabetics – with poor glycemic control. Proper management of diabetes for controlled glucose levels has been shown to be helpful in preventing or treating periodontal disease.

Symptoms of gum disease include gums that bleed when brushing, frequent bad breath, gum recession that expose dark tooth root sections, and tender and swollen gums. As gum disease progresses the gums deepen in color, pus pockets form at the base of teeth and teeth will loosen. Eventually teeth require removal. As a matter of fact, periodontal disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

While it is important to be familiar with the signs or gum disease, diabetics are urged to be as proactive as possible when it comes to their oral health due to their particular vulnerability to internal inflammation. For our diabetic patients, we advise having a dental check-up every 3-4 months.

If you have diabetes, arrange for a thorough examination at your earliest convenience. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment. It’s early symptoms are easily ignored. By the time obvious symptoms begin, it is typically well underway. Too, delayed care often results in more treatment time and greater expense.

Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 if you have questions or to begin with a free Consultation to discuss your symptoms and oral health.