Millions of Americans have diabetes, a chronic condition that affects how your body processes food and turns it into energy. Individuals with diabetes have a lack of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. High or low blood sugar can have a serious influence throughout your entire body. So managing this condition is crucial to staying healthy.
Inflammation will impact blood sugar. So additional conditions that trigger the body’s inflammatory response will affect your ability to manage diabetes. And more than half of American adults suffer from gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue that manifests with inflamed gums.
Since gum disease and diabetes are so prevalent and affect each other, it is important you pay attention to what both of these conditions do to your body. Read on to learn more about how diabetes and gum disease influence one another and what these conditions mean for your overall well-being.
Why Does Diabetes Put Me in Danger of Gum Disease?
As mentioned, diabetes can impact many areas of your body, including your mouth. Patients with diabetes can see an increase in glucose in their saliva. This can encourage more bacterial and plaque build-up on the teeth. The excess bacteria can then heighten your risk of oral infections like gum disease.
With gum disease, bacteria can eat away at your gum tissue. This will result in the recession of the gums and ultimately progress to reach the tooth root and jawbone. Bacteria can deteriorate these parts of the mouth too, resulting in irreversible damage that can lead to tooth loss. Managing diabetes can protect your gums and therefore the look and feel of your smile.
Does Gum Disease Make It Harder to Manage Diabetes?
Just as diabetes can put you at a higher risk of contracting gum disease, gum disease will also make it more difficult to manage diabetes symptoms. Infected gums will appear inflamed, and this inflammation triggers a systemic response that will worsen existing medical concerns, including diabetes.
The widespread inflammation will raise blood sugar, which will lead to worse symptoms of diabetes. So you will want to avoid excess inflammation to avoid complications with diabetes, which means steering clear of gum disease when you can.
How Can I Protect My Gum Health?
When it comes to gum health, dentists emphasize preventative care to preserve the look and feel of the tissue. Keeping your gums healthy and free from infection will also help you get control of diabetes.
You can lower the chances of contracting gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth as directed to promptly get rid of plaque before lingering bacteria can spread and infect your gums.
Make sure you attend routine teeth cleanings and oral exams from your dentist as well. These appointments will maximize oral hygiene and diagnose gum disease early to avoid extensive dental damage and other medical complications. Schedule a dental check-up today.