Gum Disease and Diabetes
People with diabetes are prone to oral infections. They are more susceptible than people without diabetes when their diabetes is not managed properly. Some factors include the thickening of blood vessels and a spike in blood sugar, which allows bacteria to spread. Poor oral hygiene and smoking can increase the risk of periodontal disease.
People with diabetes may also experience weakened bones and gum infections. These factors can lead to tooth loss if untreated. Our dentist at Chicago Dental Esthetics can provide options to manage complications that may result from diabetes.
What is the Relationship Between Diabetes and Gum Disease?
Diabetes can aggravate symptoms of gum disease and vice versa. An increase in blood sugar creates food for bacteria that deplete the tooth’s enamel. The same microbes also trigger infections that cause gum inflammation. Gum inflammation can also increase blood sugar levels in the body. Higher blood sugar levels can make it harder to manage diabetes. Regular dental cleaning visits can, therefore, make it easier to manage diabetes.
Oral Health Complications in Patients with Diabetes
Patients with diabetes may experience complications that increase their risk of gum disease and tooth decay. One of the most common conditions is xerostomia or dry mouth. Saliva neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the oral cavity. Mouth dryness can affect your sense of taste and how you enjoy food. The resulting lack of appetite can diminish the nutrients you consume, making you more susceptible to gum disease.
Xerostomia may be from the medication prescribed to patients with diabetes. It could be an adverse effect of the condition that affects the function of the salivary glands. The actual cause of xerostomia has not been established conclusively.
You may also experience dry mouth even if you don’t have type I or type II diabetes. People undergoing cancer therapy may have a dry mouth resulting from the infections they are experiencing.
Dry mouth, in turn, increases the risk of mouth sores, oral thrush, or abscesses. Oral thrush is the excessive build-up of fungi in the mouth cavity. Mouth dryness and high blood sugar levels create a suitable environment for yeast to thrive.
The same conditions increase the risk of cavities and gum disease. It may start with gum inflammation, which progresses to gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease. The infection may force the gums to recede, increasing the risk of tooth loss in patients with diabetes.
Diagnosis for Gum Disease
Timely treatment can reverse the symptoms of periodontitis and gum disease. The treatment process begins with a diagnosis. Our dental specialist may review your medical history and the symptoms of gum disease you could be experiencing.
During your evaluation, our dentist will inquire about the condition and other symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have diabetes, it is crucial to share information about how well you are managing glucose levels.
By keeping glucose near healthy levels, you can minimize the risk of gum disease. If the cause of the gum disease is unclear, our dentist may recommend additional tests. X-rays can determine the extent of gum recession and bone resorption.
Find out more information on gum disease and treatment options by visiting Chicago Dental Esthetics. Call (847) 677-1119 to schedule an appointment with our dental specialist.