The key for anyone who has Diabetes is to control your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are not controlled, then this can lead to such systemic disorders as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Most diabetics are aware of this.
But many people with Diabetes are not aware that uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to problems relating to their oral health. Let me explain.
Increased Risk of Gum Infections
There’s a correlation between high blood glucose levels and an increased risk of gum disease. It goes like this: An increased risk of gum disease can lead to an increased risk of developing gum infections which, in turn, can raise blood sugar levels even more…it’s a bit of a vicious circle.
Let’s go back a little: Periodontal Disease is a measure of ‘the state of health ‘of the gums and supporting bone. Periodontal disease starts with red, bleeding and inflamed gums…This is called Gingivitis. As the condition worsens, it leads to the formation of ‘periodontal pockets’ and bone loss.
We will discuss the issue of periodontal pockets in the next blog.
As gum disease progresses, there is a greater chance of the gums becoming infected. And not only do the gums become infected, but we also tend to lose the bone that is holding onto the roots of the teeth. As a result, the teeth become more mobile.
In addition, the areas around the teeth become populated with bacteria (and subsequent infections) and this in turn leads to an increase in blood sugar. Infections lead to an increase in blood sugar and this makes the diabetes harder to control…again…a vicious circle.
Fact: Diabetics are more susceptible to bacterial infections and a decreased ability to fight bacteria that enter the gums.
Other Oral Health Complications Associated with Diabetes
Diabetics are also more prone to developing:
1) Thrush: A fungal infection of the mouth (very common if you have
2) Dry Mouth: This can lead to cavities, oral ulcers and infections.
Thrush can be avoided if you don’t smoke and keep your dentures very clean. Also, controlling blood sugar helps to decrease dry mouth.
Controlling The Problem
If you want to avoid the problems mentioned above:
a) Control your blood sugar, and
b) Improve your oral hygiene.
Everyone needs to watch what they eat…not just those with diabetes.
Everyone needs to maintain proper oral hygiene…not just those with diabetes.
This all comes back to our overall Wellness and how we all need to work on every aspect of ourselves…our mind, body and soul.
Got questions about diabetes and your oral health? Give us a call in Brampton at (905) 791-3867.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Robert Axlerad