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Periodontal Disease and Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors & Prevention

Published on: May 13, 2024
4 min Read
Periodontal Disease in Diabetes
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Mrs. Sharma had swollen, red gums that were causing her pain, so she visited the dentist. After a thorough examination, the dentist informed her that she had gum disease.

Her doctor reassured her and explained that this could be due to her diabetes, explaining the link between diabetes and periodontal disease.

“Periodontal” refers to the gums and bones around the teeth, coming from the words “peri,” which means “around,” and “odont,” which means “tooth.”

If you, too, have diabetes and experience dental issues, understanding the signs of periodontal disease is important. In this blog, we’ll explain what periodontal disease is and why it’s important to be aware of it.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It’s usually caused by poor brushing and lack of flossing.

When you don’t brush properly, a sticky film of bacteria (plaque) builds up on your teeth over time, infecting them.

It starts with swollen, red, and bleeding gums, causing pain when you eat or chew.

What is the Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes?

We know you love sweets and sugary foods, and bacteria do too. In diabetes, your blood sugar is already high, which makes it easy for bacteria to grow in your mouth.

So, in this way, when you have diabetes, you are more likely to get periodontal disease.

So, when you manage diabetes well, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.

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What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Usually, plaque buildup is a common cause of gum disease, but there are several other factors that can cause periodontal disease if you have diabetes:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Genetics

Also, whenever you experience dryness in your mouth, your chances of getting periodontal disease increase.

What Are the Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease?

Several factors can increase the risk of gum disease:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes or consistent high blood sugar can increase your risk of gum disease.
  • Your risk increases as you age, especially after 65.
  • Women experience changes during pregnancy, menopause, or monthly cycles that can make gums more sensitive, and if you have diabetes, then it increases your risk.
  • Vitamins & micronutrient deficiency can weaken your immunity and increase the risk of infection.
  • High stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight infections.

According to our expert diabetologist, Dr. Vidya, “You should have a regular dental check-up every six months, along with your blood tests, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease early on can help you seek timely treatment. Here are some common signs:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums may be the first symptom.
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing is a common symptom.
  • Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away may indicate an infection.
  • Loose teeth might mean advanced gum disease.
  • Receding gums expose more of the teeth and their roots.

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Taking proactive steps can significantly reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Here are some effective ways to protect your gums:

1. Manage Your Blood Sugar

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is important for your overall health and for preventing infections like gum disease.

2. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Ensure to brush your teeth two times a day. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride, and floss daily.

3. Visit the Dentist Regularly

Go to the dentist at least every six months for cleaning and check-ups.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

Stick to a diet low in sugar and high in essential nutrients.

5. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking can greatly improve your oral health.

6. Reduce Stress

Less stress can help your immune system fight infections better.

7. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water to flush out food particles and bacteria and to keep your mouth moist.

How We At Fitterfly Can Help You?

You know, when you eat good food and smile, you are at your best. We want you to eat without any pain and smile confidently and cheerfully.

However, some of you who have periodontal disease along with diabetes are finding it difficult to eat and smile. The best you can do is to check for the root cause, which is your diabetes.

The best way to stay healthy is to keep your blood sugar in check and manage your diabetes properly. This will help you avoid unnecessary costs and time spent dealing with complications.

At Fitterfly, we focus on addressing the root cause and effectively managing your diabetes. Our approach guides you in making the right lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, all crucial for managing diabetes and preventing gum disease.

Our expert coaches are here to support you on this journey.

To know more about our Diabetes Prime program and how we can assist you, call one of our program advisors at 08069450746. We’re here to support you.

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This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can diabetes cause periodontal disease?

Yes, diabetes can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, weaken gums, and make it easier for infections to develop.

What is the two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease?

High blood sugar increases the risk of periodontal disease, and poorly managed diabetes makes it more challenging. The link between diabetes and gum disease is clear: diabetes weakens the immune system and slows healing, raising the chances of gum disease. In turn, gum disease complicates blood sugar control, making diabetes management more difficult.

How to manage periodontitis in diabetes?

To manage gum disease with diabetes, start by keeping your blood sugar levels steady to avoid issues. Brush and floss regularly and see your dentist often. Eat well, exercise regularly, and don't smoke to improve your overall health.

Is periodontitis a complication of diabetes?

Yes, people with diabetes are prone to periodontitis because of their high blood sugar levels.

How common is periodontal disease in diabetes patients?

Periodontal disease is relatively common among people with diabetes. People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop periodontal disease than those without diabetes.

Is chewing gum good for type 2 diabetes?

Chewing gums are not recommended but if someone chooses to have it then it should be sugar free.

Does gum raise blood sugar?

Most sugar-free gum does not raise blood sugar, as it typically contains sugar substitutes like xylitol, which does not have the same impact on blood glucose levels as regular sugar.

Can too much sugar cause gum disease?

Yes, too much sugar can lead to gum disease. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria in the mouth, causing plaque to build up. This can make your gums swell and may lead to gum disease over time.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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