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How are Gum Disease & Diabetes Connected?

October 11, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — bristolfamilydental @ 11:11 pm

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that cause the blood to have too much sugar in it. Prediabetes occurs when someone’s blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough for them to have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects the way a person’s body processes blood sugar. If someone has type 1 diabetes, their pancreas produces little to no insulin. Though you may think that these conditions only impact your overall health, they are also linked to the well-being of your smile. Read on to learn about how this chronic condition is related to your oral health.

The Link Between Diabetes & Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection that usually results from improper oral hygiene. It causes the gums to become inflamed and red. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is easy to treat. It can even be reversed. If the infection isn’t treated promptly, it will develop into a more serious infection called periodontitis. At this point, it will start to destroy your gums and jawbone. This may result in tooth loss and gum recession.

Though there’s no difference between bacteria in the mouth of someone with and without diabetes, it can still cause gum disease to worsen. Diabetes heightens your inflammatory response to bacteria, which makes you more likely to have issues with your gums. Additionally, researchers have found that 22% of people with diabetes also have gum disease.

5 Ways Diabetics Can Prevent Gum Disease

Once someone has diabetes, there’s no way to get rid of it. Even so, there are several ways that people with diabetes can lessen their risk of developing gum disease, such as:

  • Avoid acidic drinks – Soda, energy drinks, pickles, and citrus foods and drinks all contain acid, which can erode the protective enamel of the teeth. This raises one’s risk of tooth decay as well as gum disease.
  • Floss daily – At least once per day, be sure to floss your teeth. This will make you less likely to develop cavities and gum disease.
  • Remember to brush – Brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and again before bed. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid enamel damage and toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your smile.
  • Brush your tongue – This will get rid of bacteria trapped on your tongue and will also help prevent bad breath.
  • Visit your dentist – Attend dental visits twice yearly. This will allow your dentist to thoroughly clean your teeth. They can also keep an eye on your gums.

If you have diabetes, make sure to be proactive with your oral health. This will help you prevent dental issues and keep your body and smile healthy for years to come!

About the Practice

Bristol Family Dental treats patients with the exceptional care they need to keep their smiles healthy and bright. They can give you and others in the Bristol area tips and tricks on the best ways to keep your smile in good condition, such as preventing diabetes from damaging your gums. If you want to make an appointment with Bristol Family Dental or are interested in learning more about how diabetes and gum disease are linked, visit their website or call their office at (860) 589-2794.

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