Is Gum Disease Associated With Diabetes?

It is generally acknowledged that diabetes affects many systems of the body, including the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart. However, not many people know that it is also associated with gum disease. Periodontal disease indicates poor control of your blood sugar, which might be a telltale sign that you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it. Dr. Leavitt at Red Rock Periodontics and Implantology discusses the connection with patients so they know what to look for.

Bacteria and Inflammation

One of the contributing factors to gum disease is an excess of plaque in the mouth. The plaque is largely made up of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria like to consume sugar, whether from food or endogenous sugar. When you have diabetes, excess sugar is not just in the blood but also in the saliva. The sugar in your saliva can lead to growth of bacteria in your mouth, leading to periodontal disease.

Excess Blood Sugar

Periodontal disease might also affect your ability to control diabetes. Some studies have found that severe periodontal disease leads to an increase in blood sugar, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. It also makes it harder to control your diabetes.

On the other hand, uncontrolled diabetes leads to periodontal disease due to excessive blood sugar. Diabetics in control of their disease face no additional risk of periodontal disease than those without diabetes. However, those with uncontrolled blood sugar have a much higher risk.

Changes to Blood Vessels

Diabetes contributes to a thickening of your blood vessels. This, in turn, could increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. Blood vessels are necessary to carry oxygen and nutrients to tissues and remove waste. When they are thicker, it is harder to move these. This can increase the risk of infection and other problems, which makes you susceptible to periodontal disease.

Call us today to get screened for gum disease, especially if you have diabetes. Dr. Leavitt will provide a treatment program to reduce your risk of problems, such as tooth decay and lost teeth.

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