Does Diabetes Affect My Ability to Fight Off Gum Disease?

Those with diabetes – particularly Type II diabetes – face many challenges in life due to how diabetes affects their body.  One of the most significant problems, in general, is that Type II diabetes suppresses the immune system.  This means that those with diabetes may be more susceptible to a variety of diseases, which include gum disease and other oral diseases.

Someone with diabetes must take particularly good care of their teeth and gums, because research has shown that they’re much more likely to have oral problems.  Further, those who do not properly manage their diabetes are at an even higher risk of oral diseases.

We treat many diabetic patients here at our Peterborough gum clinic, so we wanted to offer some advice for dealing with the twin threats of diabetes and gum disease.

Advice from A Peterborough Gum Clinic on Managing Gum Disease Along with Diabetes

First and foremost, the best thing you can do is properly manage your diabetes.  Multiple studies have shown that those who have high fasting glucose and high hemoglobin A1C are far more likely to suffer from gum disease, bleeding gums, or even unnecessary tooth loss.  Likewise, those with poor diabetes management will also have a harder time curing infections, which risks even more damage to their gums and teeth.

So, truly, the best thing a diabetic can do for their oral health (besides basic hygiene and checkups) is to keep good control over their blood sugar.

Another activity to avoid is smoking.  Smoking -or using any other tobacco products- is already terrible for one’s oral health as well as their breath.  However, this danger is amplified in the case of diabetics.  Diabetic smokers who quit will be reducing a lot of the risk to their teeth and gums.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

If someone has diabetes, it’s possible they could start developing gum disease without realizing it.  The effects are often subtle at first.  These are some of the early warnings most frequently seen at our Peterborough gum clinic:

  • Bleeding gums, especially after brushing or flossing.
  • Overly-sensitive teeth and gums.
  • A feeling your teeth suddenly don’t fit together correctly when your mouth is closed.
  • Chronic bad breath, regardless of brushing or mouth-washing.
  • Red or swollen gums.
  • Gums pulling back, making teeth seem longer.
  • Teeth beginning to feel loose.

Diabetics should be more alert and vigilant for signs of oral disease than other people.  It’s a good idea to do a self-check once a month to see if there are any abnormalities.  In particular, look for areas on the gums which are especially red or white.  If you see any warning signs, schedule an appointment with your dentist sooner, rather than later.

Dr. Christopher Moore and Associates’ Peterborough Gum Clinic Is Here for Diabetics

It’s not easy managing diabetes and good oral health, but we can help!  If you have any questions or need assistance maintaining your teeth as a diabetic, please contact us to make an appointment.