Diabetes affects your whole body and oral health, especially your teeth and gums. People with diabetes have a higher chance of getting gum disease and Periodontitis. Periodontal disease can lead to chronic bad breath, difficulty eating, pain and even tooth loss. Diabetes can also slow down healing, so it can interfere with treatment of periodontal disease. The effect is even greater when your blood sugar is not well controlled, making it harder to fight bacterial infections.
If your high blood sugar is not well controlled, you may have an excessive buildup of plaque bacteria. which can lead to serious oral health problems. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If plaque remains on your teeth for a long time, it can lead to tooth decay and infections, such as the gum disease gingivitis.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. It is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and along the gumline. If you have diabetes, it is harder for your body to control plaque bacteria. That is why people with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to get gum disease.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone the jaw bone if left untreated. It can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and lead to tooth loss.
Poor oral health can affect diabetes, too. If you have an infection like gingivitis or periodontitis, it can affect your blood sugar. That’s why it’s vital to practice good oral care habits such as using a toothpaste and mouthwash designed to fight plaque. Maintaining your health and care can help protect your oral health, as well as manage your diabetes.
If you have diabetes, consult your dentist if you experience any of the following:
- Swollen or sensitive gums
- Redness of the gums
- Bleeding gums