Diabetes is a life-altering condition that can create complications for other body systems. If you are a sufferer of diabetes, you may already be aware of the connection the disease has to kidney and eye problems. But have you ever heard about its close relationship with your gums?
A Hand-in-Hand Relationship
If your diabetes is not controlled, it will aggravate your periodontal (gum) condition, and if your periodontal condition is not stable, it can amplify the negative effects diabetes has on the rest of your body. How so?
Gum disease is loosely classified into two categories: gingivitis (inflammation of only a shallow layer of the gums) and periodontitis (advanced inflammation and breakdown of gum tissue, supporting ligaments, and bone surrounding teeth). These diseases result from the body responding to the presence of bacteria on the teeth.
Hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar in the blood) overstimulates the inflammatory response, which is directly responsible for the destruction associated with periodontal disease. Uncontrolled, diabetes will aggravate your periodontal condition.
Recent research indicates that the increased inflammatory response connected to periodontal disease also makes it more difficult to regulate blood sugar levels.
What Can You Do?
Diabetes typically predisposes you to infections and slow healing times. These factors make it difficult to manage your periodontal health, but it is not impossible.
By keeping your diabetes carefully monitored by a physician and under control and by maintaining excellent oral hygiene at home, you can stay on top of both conditions.
You would also benefit from hygiene check-ups scheduled more frequently than six months. Ask your dentist about what routine is best-suited to your needs.
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