Did you know that people living with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease? Having a serious gum infection can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels – this means that taking care of your mouth, whether you have diabetes or not, is more important than you may be aware of.
What Causes the Increased Gum Disease Risk?
If you have diabetes, it is harder to defend the body from a bacterial infection. High glucose levels make it easier for bacteria to build up in the mouth.
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection where the germs in plaque infect the teeth and gums which can then lead to gingivitis (which is the first stage of gum disease). This can lead to tissue damage and eventual tooth loss if left untreated.
The more advanced (and more serious) stages of gum disease are periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
How Does Periodontitis Affect Diabetes?
Having a serious infection can cause a rise in blood sugar levels, which when you have diabetes makes the infection harder to fight and your diabetes harder to control.
To prevent this risk, everyone should still make your oral health and overall priority – diabetes or no diabetes. To do this, you can:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss once a day before bedtime
- Use a toothpaste which works to fight plaque bacteria and improve the health of your gums
- Keep up your dental check-ups (Dr Greg suggested every 6 and 12 months)
- Eat a well balanced, nutritious diet with fresh veggies and whole grains to nourish your teeth and gums and to help control blood sugar levels.
If you do have diabetes, regular exercise, healthy eating, and healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
If you haven’t been in for your regular dental check up, be sure to contact Dr Greg today and book in!