The Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

Dental Patient Suffering From Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. Gum disease is often caused by bacteria or plaque buildup (food particles) that on the surface of the tooth. Gum disease usually occurs after gingivitis (inflamed gums caused by plaque buildup) symptoms are left untreated. Gums begin to pull away from the teeth and pockets form that can get infected by bacteria. This is why keeping a clean healthy mouth of gums and teeth free of harmful bacteria or plaque buildup is super important. Excessive growth of these agents can lead to harmful toxin production that can be released into your bloodstream. When this occurs, associated symptoms such as gum swelling, tooth pain and discomfort, and bad breath odor can happen. Gum disease can lead to many systemic health illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, tooth/bone loss, pregnancy complications, pancreatic cancer, and stroke. A dentist in Alexandria, VA can assist you in getting the treatment you need to be free of gum disease; typically with a referral to a gum disease specialist known as a periodontist. 


Why Is There A Link Between Gum Disease And Diabetes?

Several studies have linked gum disease to diabetes – especially with people who do not have sufficient blood sugar control. Uncontrolled symptoms of systemic diseases such as diabetes can cause more severe symptoms of gum disease. Factors that contribute to the increased risk and severity of gum disease in people with diabetes include:

  • Diabetes decreases circulation, which can increase chances of infection in the gums.
  • Diabetes leads to a weakened immune system, which increases the chances of gums infection.
  • High glucose (sugar) levels in saliva can increase bacteria growth, leading to gum disease.
  • People with diabetes who smoke are far more likely to develop gum disease than people who smoke and do not have diabetes.
  • Poor oral hygiene plays a major role gum disease development for all people, but it is even more so for a person with diabetes.

To help decrease your chances of getting gum disease, a few easy steps can be started today, such as:

  • Regular brushing and flossing: Brushing and flossing twice daily can significantly minimize your chances of getting gum disease.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and plenty of water can help improve your oral health.
  • Eliminate or reduce smoking: Cigarette smoking can lead to unhealthy teeth and gums and should be avoided to help decrease the chances of developing gum disease and improve overall health.
  • Choose a good toothpaste: a gum disease fighting or preventing toothpaste should include fluoride and other plaque and bacteria eliminating agents to ensure your oral health remains in-tact.

Regularly visiting your periodontist in Alexandria, VA can help decrease your chances of developing gum disease drastically. Dr A. Garrett Gouldin and the spectacular team at Northern Va Perio understand how serious the implications can be for people with gum disease, including their chances of developing systemic diseases such as diabetes. Dr Gouldin and his team offer several treatment options for gum disease, including scaling and root planing, LANAP laser treatment, and osseous (flap) surgery, and dental implant restorations; giving you several choices to choose from to help promote a healthy smile.


Looking To Treat Your Gum Disease?

Ward off gum disease easily by visiting our doctors, Dr. A. Garrett GouldinDr. Francisco T. Carlos, and Dr. Vishal Gohel, in our office in Alexandria, VA and schedule a consultation today!


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