The Diabetes and Gum Disease Connection

Diabetes refers to a chronic condition in which the body lacks insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. High or low blood sugar can affect the function of organs throughout your body. So managing this disease is crucial to your well-being.

Inflammation impacts your blood sugar. So conditions that trigger your body’s inflammatory response will interfere with your ability to manage diabetes. More than half of Americans will contract gum disease, an infection in the gum tissue, that can create just such inflammation.

Pay attention to both of these conditions since they are prevalent and majorly impact your body. Read on to learn more about how gum disease and diabetes can influence one another and play a role in your overall health.

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Why Does Diabetes Increase the Risk of Gum Disease?

Diabetes will affect many areas of the body, including your mouth. Patients with diabetes may experience an increase in glucose in their saliva, which will encourage more bacterial build-up on the teeth. Excess bacteria can then put you in greater danger of oral infections like gum disease.

Gum disease causes bacteria to eat away at the gum tissue. It can then spread to the tooth root and jawbone, resulting in severe irreversible damage that may even cause tooth loss.

You will need help from your dentist to eradicate gum disease, so dentists advocate for preventative care for your gums. Managing diabetes can stop this extra risk factor of contracting gum disease so that you can preserve your smile.

How Does Gum Disease Affect Diabetes Management?

Diabetes can put you at a higher risk for gum disease, but the reverse is true as well. Gum disease will make it harder to manage diabetes too. Bacterial damage from this infection inflames the gum tissue, and this inflammation triggers a systemic response that will worsen other medical concerns like diabetes.

Widespread inflammation raises blood sugar, irritating symptoms of diabetes. To avoid this excess inflammation impacting diabetes, you will want to avoid gum disease. And this means taking proper care of your smile.

How Can I Protect My Gums?

You can steer clear of gum disease with preventative measures taken both at home and in your dentist’s office. Then you can not only preserve your dental structure but make it easier to manage diabetes.

Practice good oral hygiene to keep excess plaque and oral bacteria at bay. This means brushing your teeth at least twice per day and flossing on a daily basis. Ask your dentist if using an antibacterial mouthwash to better balance oral bacteria will benefit your unique smile.

You should also attend routine dental check-ups to maximize this preventative dental care. They will clean your teeth professionally and also perform a periodontal disease screening. This way they can intervene promptly if they see signs of gum disease that might otherwise harm your oral health and overall well-being.