Connection Between Oral Health and Diabetes

When it comes to oral health, periodontists are vigilant in their efforts to help patients maintain healthy gums. This is especially important for diabetic patients.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease, according to periodontists. Gum infections can make it more difficult for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar, and once infection sets in, it can take a long time to heal. The worse the infection is, the more likely it is to eventually lead to tooth loss.

They can place a dental implant if a patient loses a tooth, but it is my preference to help my patients do everything in their power to keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.

Gum disease in its early form is called gingivitis. It is caused by plaque germs. If you have diabetes, it is important to brush your teeth with a toothpaste that is FDA approved for gingivitis and has been recognized for gum care.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Diabetes
Researches have shown that the oral health and diabetes connection is a two-way street. Periodontal disease can cause higher blood glucose levels and contribute to the progression of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes. Diabetics have a higher risk of serious gum disease because their bodies are more susceptible to bacterial infections and they aren’t able to fight bacteria that invade the gums as effectively as those who don’t have diabetes.

Treating Gum Disease
For diabetics with gum disease, the good news is there is an effective treatment option available. Some periodontists treat gum disease with the state-of-the-art Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Called LANAP for short, this procedure is practically pain-free and involves no cutting or suturing. Instead, a laser gently passes between the teeth and the gumline to remove diseased tissue and leave healthy tissue in its place. The process uses ultrasonic root debridement to clean root surfaces, followed by a different laser setting to clot the blood so we get a good seal, which removes the need to use sutures. Because it is less invasive, patients recover quickly.

About 285 million people- which include about 21 million Americans- are affected by diabetes worldwide. This number is only expected to continue rising, according to information posted on the American Academy of Periodontology.

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