Ask a Biologic Dentist: How Does Gum Disease Affect Diabetes?

Biologic Dentist Williamsville, NY

A biologic dentist wants individuals to know that diabetes and gum disease are closely related. Gum disease develops when the bacteria in plaque or tartar get underneath the gums. It leads to a response from the immune system that causes inflammation and damage to bone and gingival tissues in the jaw. Additionally, this can translate to triggering diabetes. 

There are about 29.1 million people living with diabetes in the U.S. The condition affects how a person's body processes sugar. All food that a person eats is converted into sugar and used to power the body. When a person has type I diabetes, their body does not make sufficient amounts of insulin to process the sugar in their blood. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar in the blood to cells that need them. The condition can lead to problems with the kidneys, nerves, heart and eyes.

The warning signs of diabetes are found all over the body. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Urinating more than usual
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Loss of consciousness when the blood sugar gets too low
  • Difficulty tasting
  • Slower healing after cuts and bruises
  • Dry mouth
  • Inflamed gums

A biologic dentist explains how diabetes affects gum disease

The mouth houses more bacteria than most people realize. Most of them are harmless, but some can cause periodontal disease when they get underneath the gums. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that progresses over time. Its later stages can destroy gum tissues and the bone structures that keep teeth in place.

Periodontal disease is one of the common dental issues that plaque those who have diabetes. Poor blood sugar control increases the risk of periodontal disease, while people with gum disease have a harder time regulating their blood sugar.

Regular visits to a biologic health dentist become even more important when living with gum disease. Treatments for gum disease make it easier to control diabetes and they can slow down its progression. Good oral hygiene and regular teeth cleanings can help to keep teeth roots free of bacteria that can cause an infection. This is typically enough to reverse the early stages.

Treatment for gum disease

Here are some of the treatments that a biologic health dentist can use to treat patients with gum disease:

  • Root scaling and planing: This is a more thorough type of teeth cleaning that involves removing tartar, plaque, and bacteria off teeth. The planing portion of the treatment involves smoothing bacteria off the roots. This makes it harder for bacteria and plaque to build up there.
  • Restorative treatments: Gum disease treatment also involves replacing lost teeth and repairing damaged structures. Treatments like bone and gum grafts are commonly performed.

We treat gum disease

Call or visit our Williamsville clinic to learn more about the link between gum disease and diabetes. Our biologic dentistry office is here to help.