Years of research show that oral health and diabetes have a clear effect on each other. This means that people who have diabetes are more inclined to developing oral issues (such as infections and gum disease) than those who are not afflicted. On that same note, those who have gum disease and diabetes already can face complications due to the increased blood sugar levels caused by diabetes.
What Is Diabetes & Gum Disease?
Gum disease is basically an infection that is bacterial in nature. It’s caused by plaque buildup in the mouth and can affect your gums as well as the bones in your jaw that support your teeth. Left unchecked, it can progress into periodontitis and gingivitis.
People who suffer from diabetes are unable to use or produce insulin properly. Your body needs insulin in order to absorb the sugar in your body and from your food to convert it into fuel for your cells. There are three types of diabetes:
- Gestational- short term, only presents in pregnant women
- Type 2- the body is unable to properly respond to insulin
- Type 1- the body creates little or no insulin
Symptoms of Diabetes & Gum Disease
There are common symptoms most often seen in those who suffer from diabetes. These include having to use the restroom often, unexplainable thirst, frequent infections, slow healing wounds, and constant fatigue.
There are common symptoms most often seen in those who suffer from gum diseases. These symptoms are bleeding when brushing, a receding gum line, constant bad breath, tender swollen gums, and pus oozing from your teeth and gums.
Oral Health Problems from Diabetes
The dentists here at Fort York Dentist are able to spot certain signs that a patient may need to be tested for diabetes when they perform a general dental checkup. Those suffering from diabetes may face oral health problems such as:
- Rapid tooth decay
- Oral fungal infections
- Xerostomia, or dry mouth
- Problems with taste
- Repeated infections and slow healing
Am I at Risk?
The dentists here at Fort York Dentist are your oral health care experts who are trained to assess the condition of your teeth and mouth. If your existing condition is not under control, you will be referred to your physician to check the situation. If you have diabetes or gum diseases, proper management and treatment of one will most often lead to beneficial changes in the other.
Individuals over the age of 40 have a higher risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, though many with this type never present any symptoms. Those who maintain an unhealthy weight with high amounts of fat in their midsections are also at an increased risk. If you have had gestational diabetes or if the disease runs in your family you should check yourself often to ensure you do not have it.
How Fort York Dentist Can Help
Make sure to attend your regularly scheduled visits here at Fort York Dentist, when you speak with the dentist, let them know if you have diabetes and if it is currently being controlled. Keeping us up to date with changes in your medical history, along with any change in your medications will ensure that you receive the best care possible. If you have any questions, or want to schedule an appointment, get in touch with us today at (647) 346-8888.