Diabetes and Gum Disease – What You Should Know

Physicians and dentists are taking a close look at the relationship between gum disease and diabetes. Those who suffer from diabetes are more likely to be affected by periodontitis than those who do not. While there is still much research to be done to determine the exact link between these conditions, we do know these facts:

  • Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that interferes with the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
  • Those who have both diabetes and gum disease have a more difficult time controlling their diabetes compared to diabetics who do not have gum disease.
  • High blood sugar creates an environment in the body that is conducive to infections including infections of the gum tissue.
  • Diabetes impairs white blood cells, making it more difficult to fight infections like gum disease.
  • Diabetes and some of the medications used to control diabetes can reduce saliva production, another factor that contributes to gum disease.

Diabetes and Your Health

Controlling periodontal disease can help to improve your diabetes, overall health and reduce your medical costs. United Concordia Dental conducted a study that found an average savings of $1,800 per person per year.

How We Treat Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the more common conditions that Dr. Doray treats in her Philadelphia dental office. Some patients may not even know they have a problem, so the first step is a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. Dr. Doray will review your medical and dental history to determine if you have or are at risk for gum disease. If you are showing signs of gum disease, Dr. Doray will create a personalized periodontal treatment plan. Often times, patients with gum disease are encouraged to schedule more frequent visits to monitor the health of gums and prevent the progression of gum disease. Along with professional intervention, it is important to maintain a good oral health routine at home. This should include:

  • Brush your teeth after meals
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Limit snacks between meals
  • Avoid sugary snacks, sodas and other “junk food”
  • Chew sugarless gum
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