Your overall health is important for a long, healthy life. Good diet and exercise are not the only activities that make the ingredients for health. Your oral health is just as important, especially to prevent gum disease. When you have other health conditions or underlying conditions, gum disease can make your health difficult.

Sugary foods and drinks, especially soda, has led to a big uptick in poor oral health, particularly gum disease. It has also increased the occurrence of diabetes in all ages. When you combine poor oral health and diabetes, the two can make the other worse. If allowed to continue, it is a vicious cycle of health risks.

How Gum Disease Affects Diabetes

Gum Disease Can Worsen Diabetes

If you aren’t taking care of your oral health, you are likely to develop gum disease (if you don’t have it already). Studies estimate that almost 50% of Americans have some stage of gum disease which increases for those over the age of 65.

Gum disease is a type of bacterial infection which will trigger an immune response by your body. The delivery system for any type of immune response is the blood stream. In those with diabetes that isn’t well-controlled and gum disease, the response to the infection can cause changes in blood sugar. As you may know, regulating blood sugar is one of the key factors in controlling diabetes and preventing even more severe health issues.

Diabetes Can Increase Risk Of Gum Disease

On its own, diabetes can both react to and cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation increases the difficulty for nutrients to travel to various parts of the body that need it, including the gums. With reduced blood flow to the gums, the gums themselves can be weakened thus putting you at a much higher risk for gum disease.

Another factor is the blood sugar level. People who are diabetic usually have to follow some strict guidelines to ensure their blood sugar remains at a healthy level. However, diabetes that is not controlled very well increases blood sugar levels which in turn increases glucose levels in the fluids of your mouth. This results in even more favorable conditions for bacteria to grow, which will lead to gum disease.

If the diabetic condition isn’t controlled and gum disease develops, then we go right back to the previous section on how gum disease makes diabetes worse. One condition makes the other worse, which turns around and worsens the initial health condition. Without proper treatment and control, your health could deteriorate quickly and even be life-threatening.

How To Prevent Gum Disease From Making Diabetes Harder To Control

If you are diabetic, the first step to prevent gum disease is controlling your diabetes. With more properly controlled diabetes you can drastically reduce the risk of developing gum disease. Of course, simply controlling diabetes isn’t enough to entirely prevent gum disease.

Antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent gum disease from getting worse. For people with moderate to somewhat severe gum disease, you may start at this step. If you have mild gum disease, often called gingivitis, then practicing good oral hygiene at home is a good start to combatting the infection. You should always brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss.

Lastly, Pickett Family Dental offers the absolute best dental care in Keller, Texas. For current and new patients, we are happy to provide you with a thorough plan to improve and maintain your oral health. We can start with showing you exactly how you should brush your teeth and we can recommend the best toothpaste for your situation. If you are diabetic, you should let the dentist know so that any early signs of gum disease can be handled swiftly. Call us today at 817-431-5514 if you have any questions or easily schedule your dental appointment here on our website.