The dictionary explains diabetes as “a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.” it is a metabolic disease characterized by the body’s inability to properly secrete or manage insulin. This results in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Diabetes is considered a leading cause of death due to vascular complications attributed to the disease.
The prevalence of diabetes has increased dramatically over the past few decades and is expected to triple in the next decade. A report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health states that diabetes is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.” Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared diabetes to be at a pandemic level.
The most common types of diabetes are type 1 (known as insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin-dependent). Initial indications of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums. While diabetes affects all ages, it is more common in adults. According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes with initial symptoms emerging after age 45.
Seeing early signs of diabetes in the form of oral problems is not surprising to those in the medical and scientific fields, although the general public rarely associates one with the other. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that can create inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Other inflammatory diseases (such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and coronary artery disease) have been correlated to gum disease for decades.
Not only are periodontal diseases said to be the 6th greatest complication of diabetes, research has shown that one triggers the other. Gum disease has been found to be more frequent and severe in patients with diabetes with poor glycaemic control. Proper management of diabetes for controlled glucose levels is helpful in preventing or treating periodontal disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include gums that bleed when brushing, frequent bad breath, gum recession that expose dark tooth root sections) and tender and swollen gums. As gum disease progresses, gums will turn red in color, pus pockets will form at the base of teeth and teeth will loosen. Eventually teeth will need removing.
It is important for any individual to be aware of these signs. However, diabetics should be as proactive as possible when it comes to their oral health due to their particular vulnerability to inflammation in the body.
For our diabetic patients, we recommend dental check-ups every 3-4 months. If you have diabetes, please call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a periodontal examination at your earliest convenience. During this time, we can assess your oral health and treat existing gum disease.
Early evaluation is advised since gum disease will progress without treatment. Delayed care can result in more treatment time and greater expense. Feel free to call us if you have questions. You may wish to begin with a free Consultation to discuss your health and oral symptoms.