How Oral Health is Affected by Diabetes

Diabetes is well-known for affecting your diet and lifestyle choices, but did you know that it can change your oral health also? People who suffer from diabetes are constantly on the lookout for new or worsening health conditions. Now, they may want to consider seeing their dentist more regularly as well. Without it, they could suffer from more instances of gum disease and other problems associated with high or uncontrolled blood glucose levels.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, you should know what to look for in order to prevent some of these common conditions. Keep your eyes open for the early signs that you might have a problem.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

People who have controlled blood glucose levels may not have to worry about dental problems. However, your gum health can take a serious nosedive when your glucose levels aren’t being carefully monitored and controlled through diet or insulin. Diabetic patients are more likely to be diagnosed with both gingivitis and periodontitis. Most researchers believe that this is because these patients are more likely to develop a bacterial infection and less likely to be able to resist it long-term.

Unfortunately, this often has an adverse effect on diabetes as well. The infection in the gums can also affect your blood glucose levels and worsen the overall state of your diabetes. It may be much harder for you to control your glucose levels. When the diabetes isn’t under control, you stand the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other conditions.

As you may imagine, preventing the development of gum disease is going to be a top priority for dentists working with diabetic patients. Maintaining great oral health could be the first step toward ensuring your entire wellbeing. You should be able to recognize the early signs of gum disease to protect yourself from worsening your condition.


Early Signs of Gum Disease

Severe gum disease is often preceded by a much milder form of periodontitis known as gingivitis. This is the first thing you should keep an eye out for if you have diabetes. You will usually have swollen gums that are darker in color. The gums are likely to be tender or to bleed easily whenever you brush or floss. It could be accompanied by bad breath or receding gums.

If you see any of these signs, you need to make an appointment with your dentist right away. You can help to keep gingivitis at bay with excellent oral hygiene on a regular basis. Brush your teeth twice per day, floss between all teeth, and schedule regular visits with your dentist. All of these small steps can add up to give you a healthier mouth.

At Markham Dental Centre, we are proud to have experienced dentists that can catch the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis. If you think that you might need help managing your oral hygiene with your diabetes, give us a call to see how we can help today!