Take Special Measures With Your Smile If You Have Diabetes.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that complicates the body’s ability to process insulin. The result is the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Because of the vascular complications associated with the disease, diabetes is a leading cause of death.
Over the past few decades, the prevalence of diabetes has increased significantly. It is predicted to triple over the next ten years and be at a pandemic level according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health states diabetes is “a growing public health concern and a common chronic metabolic disease worldwide.”
The most common type of diabetes is type 2, which is not insulin-dependent. According to the American Diabetes Association, initial symptoms typically appear after the age of 45 with early symptoms including bad breath and bleeding gums. Although oral problems are rarely associated with diabetes by the general public, research noted the connections many years ago.
As an inflammatory disease, periodontal (gum) disease has been found to activate inflammation far beyond the mouth. This occurs when the infectious bacteria of gum disease enter the bloodstream through tears in weakened tissues. Research has also found that other inflammatory diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and coronary artery disease are linked to gum disease.
Periodontal disease is the sixth greatest complication of diabetes. Amazingly, research has even shown that one can trigger the other. It has also been found to occur more severely in diabetics with poor glycemic control. Proper management of diabetes with controlled glucose levels has been shown to help prevent periodontal disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include tender gums that bleed easily when brushing, frequent bad breath, receded gums that expose sensitive tooth roots, and swollen gums. As periodontal disease progresses, the gums darken in color and pus pockets form at the base of teeth. Eventually teeth loosen and may require removal. It’s no surprise that gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.
While it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, diabetics should be proactive when it comes to their oral health since they are especially vulnerable to internal inflammation. This is why diabetic patients are urged to have dental check-ups every 3-4 months.
If you are diabetic, have an examination at your earliest convenience. Gum disease will worsen without treatment. Delayed care can also result in more treatment time and greater expense.
Call 219-987-5733 if you have questions or to begin with a free Consultation to discuss your symptoms and oral health.