Many people who have diabetes are surprised to learn that the most severe gum disease—called periodontitis—is one of the complications attributed to diabetes. Numerous studies prove that people with diabetes have a higher rate of gum diseases. People with diabetes are not only more susceptible to advanced gum diseases, but can even affect blood glucose control and contribute to the advancement of diabetes.
Studies state that people with diabetes have a greater risk of oral health problems like gingivitis (the initial stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease). People with diabetes have a greater risk of periodontitis because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infections and have a lower capacity to combat the bacteria that invade the gums.
If I have diabetes, do I have a greater risk of having dental problems?
If your blood glucose level is not well controlled, you will have a greater chance of having gum diseases and losing teeth than people without diabetes. Like all infections, advanced gum disease can be a factor that causes glucose to increase and makes it more difficult to control diabetes.
Other oral problems related to diabetes may include candidiasis, an infection caused by a fungus that grows in the mouth and mouth dryness, which may cause pain, ulcers, infections and/or cavities.
How can I prevent dental problems related to diabetes?
First, you must control your blood glucose level. Then take care of your teeth and gums well and have regular check-ups and cleanings every six months. Good glucose control can also help to prevent or alleviate dry mouth caused by diabetes. Notify your dentist if there are any changes to your health and if you are taking any drugs. Postpone any dental procedure that is not an emergency is your blood glucose is not well controlled.