Gum Disease in Diabetics Can Lead to Tooth Loss

One of the common complications from diabetes is periodontal or gum disease. In fact, of the 29 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, one-third has severe gum disease!


Periodontal disease in patients with diabetes can result in the loss of 1 or more teeth. Gum disease begins when sticky plaque caused by bacteria adheres to your teeth, especially around the gum line. If not removed by brushing and flossing, your gums may develop gingivitis, or gum inflammation, with symptoms like swollen, red and bleeding gums.


Without proper treatment, gingivitis will progress into periodontitis. The plaque on the teeth and under the gums will harden into tartar, causing pockets to form where your gums pull away from the teeth. Bacterial infection within these pockets can destroy the bone and ligaments around your teeth, causing them to loosen and even fall out.


The Diabetes – Periodontal Disease Connection


Uncontrolled high levels of blood sugar such as in those with diabetes can put you at risk for heart, kidney and eye disease.


Diabetes slows the healing process too and also reduces your resistance to infections. Diabetes affects your circulation so body tissues, including those in the mouth, don’t get oxygen-rich blood to keep gums and teeth healthy. Bacteria thrive on glucose, a sugar that is linked to diabetes. High levels of glucose in mouth fluids may help germs grow more quickly.


Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease


Diligent oral health care can keep periodontal disease at bay. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to get rid of any lurking bacteria.


Importantly, come see us regularly for exams and cleaning. Keep us informed of your overall health status including your blood sugar levels and any new medications.


Don’t be a gum disease or tooth loss statistic! Work to control your blood sugar levels and keep your mouth healthy.


Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care


Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.