Why does diabetes increase my risk of gum disease?

Gum disease is one of the oral health problems of greater risk to people with diabetes. Because of lowered resistance and a longer healing process, gum disease appears to be more frequent and more severe among those with diabetes. To help the healing process, keep your blood glucose levels under control.

Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects your body’s ability to process sugar. The resulting high blood sugar can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.

See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. Your dentist may recommend more frequent evaluations and preventive procedures, such as teeth cleaning, to maintain good oral health.

Diabetes increases the risk of many types of infections, including periodontal disease. Diabetics may have reduced resistance to infection. In addition, the abnormal blood sugar levels with diabetes can worsen periodontal disease. Interestingly, once you get severe gum disease, you may have a more difficult time controlling your blood glucose levels with diabetes. Good medical and dental treatment is available to manage periodontal disease with diabetes. Talk to your doctor and dentist about your oral health and see what steps you need to take.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.