How Diabetes Affects Gum Health: The Relationship with Periodontal Disease

Having diabetes (high blood sugar levels) can significantly predispose you to develop periodontal or gum disease. In turn, untreated gum disease has been proven to further increase sugar levels which worsens blood sugar levels. This informative blog will highlight the effect of diabetes on your gum health and how specialists offering dental practice in Powell, TN help treat periodontal disease in diabetics. 

Let’s explore the interconnectivity of diabetes and periodontal disease. 

Exploring the link between diabetes and periodontal disease

Following are the aspects through which both are inter-connected:

Poor oral hygiene

  • Improper brushing techniques can pave the way for bacterial infiltration. The bacteria can ingest the excess sugar present between the teeth and invade the tissues more freely subgingivally. 
  • This can result in harmful toxins and acids that harm your body’s metabolic activities.

Increased blood sugar levels

  • Severe forms of periodontal disease can elevate the blood sugar levels in your body. This prolongs the time that the body has to function with increased blood glucose levels. 
  • This provides nutrition to the already existing bacteria that worsen periodontal problems. 

Abnormal thickening of the blood vessels

  • Thickening of the blood vessels is one of the major complications of diabetes. These vessels help to deliver nutrients to tissues and remove waste products.
  • With diabetes, these vessels do not perform their normal functions compromising the resistance of the gingival tissues, leading to infection and gum disease.

Unhealthy habits like smoking: 

  • Smoking can negatively impact the health of your oral tissues through a slow healing process. For diabetics who smoke the risk of periodontal disease is significantly increased. 
Periodontal disease is the inflammation and destruction of the gingival tissues and the underlying bone, causing severe attachment and tooth loss. 

Potential treatment options for periodontal disease in diabetics

Your dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth and oral tissues. Usually, diabetics are recommended to visit their dentists at least twice yearly, or even more frequently depending on their gum health. 

The following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Simple nonsurgical procedures like scaling and root planing

  • These are performed to remove plaque and tartar and eliminate the residual bacteria. 
  • This can lower the HbA1c (hemoglobin molecule blood test) count by 20% in six months. 
  • Medications:

  • You may also be prescribed antibiotics in the form of gels, mouthwashes, or oral pills that help reduce the gingival pockets to promote healing. 
Diabetes is a chronic illness characterized by increased blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetics do not produce any insulin, while type 2 diabetics cannot regulate insulin levels that increase the glucose levels in the blood. 

Final thought

Collaborate with your dentist closely if you are suffering from diabetes for better oral health and improved quality of life. Untreated cases of periodontal disease are not only detrimental to your gum health but also to your blood sugar levels.