How does diabetes cause gum disease?

Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are among the tissues likely to be affected. Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place.

Periodontal disease is often linked to the control of diabetes. For example, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than persons who have good control of their diabetes. It is possible to have periodontal disease and not have all of the warning signs. If you notice any of the warning signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately.
Diabetes increases your risk of dental problems, including gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is mild gum disease that can be self-managed or even reversed at home with daily dental care. Periodontitis is the more severe type of gum disease. With this late stage gum disease, you may need invasive treatments in order to save your teeth.  To manage gingivitis with diabetes, brush your teeth at least two or three times daily, two minutes each time. Floss your teeth once a day to remove all plaque, food and debris from the teeth and gums. Use a toothpaste that has fluoride and rinse your mouth after brushing. Talk openly with your dentist for more tips on how to prevent problems associated with diabetes.

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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.