Link Between Diabetes and Your Smile
November is National Diabetes Month in America. The purpose of the designated month is to bring awareness to all types of the disease: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. The team here at Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO wants to take this month to highlight the link between diabetes and your smile’s health. The two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease can affect your health in different ways. Taking care of your oral health, whether or not you have diabetes, is important to your overall health.
Higher Risk for Gum Disease
People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease than people with better regulated blood sugar levels. The heighten risk has two causes: one is that a diabetic typically has a more difficult time defending against the infection. The second cause is that higher glucose levels (as people with diabetes are prone to have at times) in the mouth can create a hospitable environment for the harmful bacteria that causes gum disease. These two things can create a perfect storm to allow infection and inflammation of the gum tissue to exist and persist.
Effects on Diabetics
If someone with diabetes does develop gum disease, it can be dangerous. Infection of any kind in the body can increase glucose levels in the blood. For a diabetic, it is a matter of life and death to be able to properly control blood sugar levels. Gum disease can make regulating blood sugars even harder than normal. If you have gum disease and diabetes, it is important to discuss with both your dentist and your endocrinologist.
For a person with diabetes, maintaining your blood sugar levels can help lower your risk of gum disease. And whether or not you have diabetes, good oral health is important. A healthy smile can be achieved by regular visits to your dentist for exams and cleanings, consistent oral hygiene, and mindful nutrition and water intake.