Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

It is estimated that up to 20 million people have diabetes, with only two-thirds of these individuals diagnosed. Diabetics have a higher risk of oral infections and periodontal (gum) disease than others who don’t have diabetes. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes can cause a great concern because serious gum disease can affect blood sugar control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. A regular visit to the dentist is important for people with diabetes. The routine visit will allow you to keep your dentist up to date on the status of your oral and overall health.

What happens when you have diabetes and the concern it raises with gum disease is that diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection. The presence of increased bacteria in the mouth cause a reversible form of gum disease. The bacteria will form a layer of sticky film that accumulates on teeth, above and below the gum line causing inflammation. The gum disease if left untreated can cause periodontal disease, which is an irreversible destruction of the tissues that surround and support the teeth.

Oral health problems that can be associated with diabetes:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Ulcers
  • Infections
  • Cavities

The dentist may prescribe antibiotics, medicated mouth rinses and more frequent cleanings to prevent problems of bacterial infections. It is better to schedule your routine cleanings in the morning because your blood sugar levels tend to be more stable at this current time of the day. Diabetics should be aware of their health and oral health. Regular brushing with an antimicrobial mouthwash at least twice a day. Your dental care is important as well as having good insulin control to have a better chance at avoiding gum disease.


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101-A Chadwick Square Court
Hendersonville, NC 28739

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Today I had a 2 1/2 hour appointment with Dr. Pete Richards to repair a crown which had come off. In the process he cleaned off the remainder of the old tooth, performed a root canal, built up the old tooth and created a new crown, which was put in place. He along with his staff was highly professional, friendly and did an outstanding job. Frank Sacho, 1/21/2015

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