Diabetics face a number of challenges every day, along with greater health risks. People with diabetes are aware that the disease can damage the kidneys, eyes, heart and nerves. Yet, many do not know they have a higher risk for periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease is an infection that attacks gum tissues and bone structure that supports teeth. In early stages, gum disease has minimal, obvious symptoms. These include tender gums that bleed when brushing and persistent bad breath. But, like a pot of simmering water on a hot stove, the boiling point is not far away. As gum disease progresses, it can lead to painful chewing and eventual tooth loss.
It is a fact that periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. It can also make you more susceptible to serious problems. Research has linked gum disease bacteria with heart disease, stroke, preterm babies, and memory loss.
Diabetes can cause dry mouth, which occurs when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Saliva is your body’s oral cleanser that helps to move bacteria out of the mouth. Dry mouth is often a symptom of undetected diabetes. It can cause tender and sore gums, ulcers, infections and cavities. For diabetics who smoke, these problems are far worse.
In order for diabetics to prevent gum disease and other oral problems, controlling blood glucose levels is a key factor. Those with poor blood glucose control are more prone to gum disease and have it at more severe levels than people whose diabetes is well controlled.
Diabetics, however, can put the odds for a healthy mouth in their favor! Take charge of your smile by controlling your glucose, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, daily flossing, and having regular dental check-ups. If you want to protect your teeth and avoid oral problems, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an appointment.