Diabetes and Oral Health
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is important for diabetics, as they have an increased risk of developing oral infection and periodontal disease.
Diabetes is a health condition that makes it difficult to manage blood sugar levels, and as a result, can lead to high levels of sugar in the blood and saliva. Extreme blood sugar levels can weaken white blood cells, making it harder for the immune system to fight infection. In addition, sugar in saliva feeds bacteria, amplifying any existing infection in your mouth.
It’s also shown that periodontal disease makes it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, though the reason is not known. When present in diabetic patients, periodontal disease can increase chances of other serious conditions, including kidney disease and heart attack.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding from brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Pain when chewing
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
Antibiotics for periodontal disease can be oral or topical. Topical antibiotics are put underneath the gum line to fight infection.
- Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing is a deep dental cleaning, where plaque is removed from below the gum line. This process often involves local anesthesia and sometimes is split into two office visits to complete.
Please let your healthcare provider know if you have or at risk for developing diabetes.