Diabetes sufferers are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections.
People who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
What this means to your dental professionals at West Ryde Dental Clinic, is that diabetics should take extra care of their health, including dental health.
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis and periodontal disease, is the sixth most common disease in the world. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. And, for diabetics, it is a more serious problem.
Diabetics are more likely to experience gum disease if they’ve had poor blood sugar levels for a prolonged time.
What Does Diabetes Have To Do With Gum Disease?
Diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease. Mismanaged blood sugar levels can cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, the heart, the kidneys, eyes, and the feet. Similar damage can be done to your gums.
Because high blood sugar levels lead to damage to blood vessels, high blood sugar reduces the supply of oxygen and nourishment to the gums, making infections more likely.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause glucose levels to rise in saliva, creating a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing the risk of gum disease and dental decay.
Severe gum disease can negatively impact blood sugar control and increase the chances of suffering from other common long-term complications of diabetes. The inflammation, which occurs in the gums, escapes into the bloodstream and upsets the body’s defence system, which then affects blood sugar control. So, when you treat one, you should also treat the other.
What Can Your Dentist Do?
Diabetics should have regular dental check-ups, including a close gum inspection. If West Ryde Dental Clinic detects gum disease, we can help you with treatment and management.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The main cause of gum disease is dental plaque, though tobacco, alcohol, and other factors can be involved. Plaque is a sticky white coating that builds up on your teeth throughout the day. It is formed from food, bacteria, and saliva.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
In most cases gum disease is not painful and you may be unaware of it. However, if you have any of the following symptoms you should consult West Ryde Dental immediately:
- Bleeding in the mouth when cleaning or eating
- Swollen and red gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Shrinking (receding) gums
- Gaps appearing between the teeth and the teeth moving apart
- Loose teeth
- Presence of pus around the gumline (abscesses)
Severe forms of gum disease require a detailed gum examination to assess the degree of the problem. X-rays may be taken to assess damage to the supporting bone around the roots of the teeth, below the gum line.
Other Oral Diseases Are Also Associated With Diabetes:
- Salivary gland dysfunction (eg, dry mouth, gland infection)
- Oral candida (eg, fungal infection). Candida is a fungus/yeast that often grows out of control and is problematic when there is a chronic presence of high-sugar levels in the mouth or body. Candida infection may present orally in the commissures of the mouth or hard palate. Candidiasis can be exacerbated by wearing dentures, smoking, high glucose levels, high-sugar diet and antibiotics.
- Lichen planus often presents as an itchy body rash with bumps that become dry scaly patches. About 50% of people who acquire lichen planus also develop it in the mouth; sometimes causing painful oral sores that can affect eating and drinking.
- Delayed healing. Patients with poorly managed diabetes often show delayed healing after scaling and root planing (deep dental cleaning), tooth extractions and implant placement that can result in failure of dental implants.
- Taste impairment
If you suffer from diabetes, or have any of these symptoms, it is important that you talk to us at West Ryde Dental Clinic, and your doctor as well!
The West Ryde Dental Clinic Advantage
At West Ryde Dental Clinic, we provide you with personalised service. All our dentists are highly motivated and accredited practitioners with graduate degrees from the University of Sydney. As well as the dentists, the supporting staff at West Ryde Dental Clinic are highly dedicated and experienced to ensure each visit with us is comfortable as possible.