Diabetes and Gum Disease

What Is Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease?

Your gums play a significant role in your oral health. Gums create a tight seal around your teeth to hold them in place and protect your teeth by keeping disease-causing bacteria away from them.

Practising proper oral hygiene and keeping your mouth healthy, clean, and bacteria-free is crucial to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Poor oral hygiene and plaque buildup can endanger your oral health and lead to many dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum disease or periodontal disease is one of the most common consequences of bacterial growth in your mouth, resulting from not removing plaque regularly by proper brushing and flossing.

Gum disease is a serious gum infection that can affect the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Several other factors can cause periodontal disease:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune or systemic diseases
  • Hormonal changes
  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Some medicines

 Periodontal disease has two stages called gingivitis and periodontitis.

 Gingivitis: Causes Gum Inflammation

Gums will become sensitive, swollen, and red at the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis); your gums may bleed easily while brushing your teeth. Gingivitis can be reversed by proper dental care and dental cleaning at your dentist’s office. Make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience sore gums, bleeding gums, and gums sensitive to touch.

 

Periodontitis: Damages the Soft Tissue

Untreated gingivitis leads to an advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis makes the gums pull away from your teeth, causing a pocket to form between the teeth and gums. Periodontitis can also destroy the bone that supports the teeth, causing loose teeth and even tooth loss and bone loss at the most advanced stage.

 

Common Symptoms of Periodontal Diseases

You can keep gum disease under control and even restore the health of your gums at the early stages of the disease by being aware of its early signs and seeking dental treatment promptly.

 

Inform your dentist or another oral health specialist if you notice these signs in your teeth and gums:

 

  • Swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Sore gums
  • Gums that bleed while you are tooth brushing or using a dental floss
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss and bone loss (advanced periodontitis)
  • Pain while biting or chewing food
  • Receding gums
  • Bite and jaw alignment changes
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • If you wear dentures, you may notice they do not fit well

 The American Dental Association: Have a trip to your dentist at least once a year to ensure dental health and detect dental problems early.

Diabetes

High Blood Sugar

As you probably know, diabetes refers to a health condition in which your blood sugar or blood glucose level is higher than it should be. High blood sugar occurs if your body cannot use or make insulin properly. Diabetes can cause your blood vessels to become thickened, reducing the flow of nutrients and interfering with the removal of wastes from your body tissues.

Diabetes and Gum disease

How Are Diabetes and Gum Disease Related?

A decrease in the blood flow can make your gums and bone prone to infection due to becoming weak and not being able to fight infections well. That’s one of the reasons why people with blood glucose levels have a greater risk of developing gum disease.

 

Another reason that makes people with high blood sugars more susceptible to gum disease is due to having increased blood sugar in their mouth fluids. If the saliva around the teeth and under the gums contains more sugar, there is an increased risk of the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease.

 

But Wait! It’s a Two-Way Street!

If you have periodontal disease and leave it untreated, the infections may cause an increase in your blood sugar level, making diabetes difficult to control.

Your body’s response to gum infections can also cause problems in your blood glucose levels.

 

Did You Know?

Smoking will make people more prone to several oral health issues like:

  • Tooth discolouration
  • High risk of plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer

 Due to having a weakened immune system, smokers, especially those with diabetes problems, have a greater risk of gum disease.

Read more: Smoking and Oral Health Issues

Diabetes and Other Mouth Problems

If you fail to keep your blood sugar level within your target range, it can pose other mouth problems, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dry mouth
  • Burning feeling in the mouth
  • Oral thrush

 Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal infection caused by the Candida albicans fungus. Diabetes increase the glucose in your saliva, decrease your body’s resistance to infection, and causes a dry mouth, preparing a good condition for oral thrush.

Oral Health Tips To Prevent Gum Disease

Keep your teeth and gums healthy by following these easy tips.

  • Brush your teeth twice a daily using fluoride toothpaste
  • Use dental floss to get rid of food particles between your teeth
  • Visit your dentist regularly to keep your mouth healthy
  • Therapeutic mouthwash may help reduce plaque buildup
  • Avoid smoking
  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking enough water to prevent a dry mouth
  • Limit your intake of sugary foods
  • Choose sugar-free gum
  • Don’t forget to have your blood sugars under control and in your target range

Gum Disease Treatment

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition.

Your dentist may decide to treat periodontal disease using non-surgical procedures like scaling, root planing, and antibiotics if the patient is at the early to moderate stages.

Scaling and root planing(deep cleaning) is done with the purpose of plaque removal beneath the gums. The treatment can smooth the damaged root surfaces of the patient’s teeth.

 

For advanced stages, surgery may be the answer:

  • Flap surgery
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone grafting
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Pocket reduction

 Pure Dentistry

Pure Dentistry is a professional dental clinic in Brisbane offering various types of dental procedures. Our dental experts provide adult and paediatric patients with the latest technology in dentistry. We have also different interest-free payment plans, so you don’t need to worry about the costs of your dental work. Call us today on Pure Dentistry 07 3343 4869 and book an appointment or book online.