Diabetes Linked To Gum Disease, And Vice Versa

Posted on Jan 04, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that stems from insufficient insulin secretion and/or insulin resistance. This results in the body’s abnormal metabolic processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Regardless of the advancements in treatment, a report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health states that diabetes is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.”

Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared diabetes to be at a pandemic level. The prevalence of diabetes has increased dramatically over the past few decades and is expected to triple in the next decade.

Diabetes is considered a leading cause of death due to vascular complications attributed to the disease. The most common types of diabetes are type 1 (known as insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin-dependent).

While diabetes affects all age groups, it is more common in adults. According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which usually begins after age 45. Initial indications of this disease are bad breath and bleeding gums.

Initial emergence of diabetes in the form of oral problems makes perfect sense to those in the medical and scientific fields. Various inflammatory diseases and periodontal (gum) disease have shown connections for decades. Not only are periodontal diseases said to be the 6th greatest complication of diabetes, one triggers the other. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that can create inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body.

Gum disease has been found to be more frequent and severe in patients with diabetes with poor glycaemic control. Proper management of diabetes for controlled glucose levels is helpful in preventing or treating periodontal disease.

It is advised that diabetics have more-frequent dental check-ups to avoid the inflammatory reactions of gum disease, and vice versa.

Symptoms of gum disease include seeing blood when brushing, persistent bad breath, gum tissue that pulls away from teeth (exposing tender tooth root portions) and sore gums. Any of these signs are reason for any individual to see a dentist before gum disease worsens. However, for diabetics, the need is more dire due to their existing vulnerability to inflammatory reactions in the body.

A periodontal examination will determine the presence of gum disease. If it exists, a treatment plan will be discussed. Call 828-274-9440, and at your earliest convenience. Gum disease will only worsen without treatment. Delayed care can result in greater treatment time and expense.

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