Problems with teeth and gums can be more common for individuals with high blood sugar levels or diabetes. So good dental health is vital for you to prevent dental complications from developing. Looking after your teeth and gums becomes an essential part of learning to live with both types of diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with high glucose levels are at higher risk for gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that leads to bone destruction.
The high glucose level can also affect your ability to fight off bacteria that can cause this gum infection. Gum disease might also affect your body’s blood sugar control.
You should inform your dentist if you have either type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Also, inform your dentist if you have new-onset or long-standing diabetes as this may affect your dental treatment.
Link Between Blood Sugar Levels and Dental Hygiene
Diabetes or high blood glucose levels affect your body’s ability to utilize glucose, or blood sugar, for energy. High levels of glucose can cause many complications. These could include heart disease, nerve damage, stroke, kidney disease, and even blindness. Another most commonly occurring health complication is gum disease and other oral health problems.
As you know, glucose is present in your saliva. When blood sugar levels are high and are not controlled, high glucose levels in your saliva help harmful bacteria grow.
These harmful bacteria in your mouth combine with food to form a sticky, soft film called plaque. Plaque on teeth also forms from eating food items that contain sugars or starches. This dental plaque causes tooth decay or tooth cavity. They also cause gum disease and bad breath.
People who have poor control of their blood glucose levels or have diabetes are more likely to develop dental health problems. Therefore, always trying to keep your blood sugar within a normal range will reduce this risk. Getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and giving up smoking will lessen your risk of oral diseases.
High glucose levels are associated with increased risk for thrush, also a type of fungal infection. Additionally, individuals with diabetes are likely to have a dry mouth. The condition is also associated with an increased risk for mouth ulcers, cavities or dental caries, soreness, and dental infections.
You should make sure that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure that any infection will be treated as early as possible. Remember, minor dental problems can quickly escalate, and a routine visit to your dentist will help identify these problems.
How Does Gum Disease Make Blood Sugar Levels Go Up?
Gum disease is an infection caused by germs in the gums around your teeth. It is one of the most commonly occurring infections affecting people around the world. In its more serious form, it is known as periodontitis – the infection is long-lasting.
The soft gums and bones around your teeth dissolve over time if you are suffering from periodontitis. This can lead to loss of teeth. Half of the US population above 30 years has periodontitis and 60 percent of people above 60 years.
Scientists believe that some germs present in the infected gums leak into your bloodstream after normal activities such as toothbrushing or chewing. When these harmful germs enter your bloodstream, a reaction starts from your body’s defense system.
As a result, your immune system produces some powerful molecules that have harmful effects all over your body. One such example is your blood sugar level starts to rise automatically.
Periodontitis raises your blood sugar level and might lead to type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes who have uncontrolled diabetes have more gum disease. Now, scientists are studying that gum disease might raise blood sugar levels in people with and without diabetes.
Scientists today are looking closely at the latest research into how gum disease could affect people with high blood sugar levels. Scientists recently found that, compared with those with healthy gums, people with severe gum disease.
- They might have higher long-term blood sugar levels.
- They might be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- May be at a higher risk of developing pregnancy or gestational diabetes.
- Might have a harder time controlling their type 2 diabetes.
- May have a higher risk of experiencing harm to their kidneys and eyes and have a heart attack and stroke if they have diabetes.
Can gum disease treatment help control your diabetes?
You should try to keep your gums as healthy as possible, whether or not you have high blood sugar levels. Also, try to brush your teeth gently twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
In addition, try to daily clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner. Also, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Make sure you have your gums checked in addition to your teeth. Also, ensure your dentist measures the space between the teeth and the gums to look for any gum disease.
If you have high blood glucose levels or type 2 diabetes, keep your gums healthy, which could help you control your disease. It might also help lower your risk of experiencing problems, like blindness and kidney disease, because of your diabetes.
The latest research on gum disease and diabetes shows how important it is to have healthy gums. Remember, a healthy mouth is an important part of good overall health.
How Can High Blood Sugar Levels Lead to Gum Disease?
If you have prolonged high blood glucose levels, it can increase the risk of oral health problems, such as gum disease.
Do you know that gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is the sixth most common disease in the world? The disease starts to occur when bacteria within your mouth begin to form into a sticky plaque that sits on the tooth’s surface.
Gum disease is generally classified on the severity of its development. There are primarily three stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and irregular plaque removal from teeth. It is typically characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums, which might bleed when you brush your teeth. Luckily gingivitis is easily reversible. You need to improve your oral hygiene techniques and visit your dentist periodically – you should be able to reverse this process.
2 Periodontitis (Mild)
If your gingivitis is untreated, it can lead to mild periodontitis. The conversion of gingivitis to periodontitis is commonly seen in people who have a family history of gum disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and poor oral hygiene. But high blood glucose levels could be the main cause.
At this stage of gum disease, there will be damage to your gums and the bone supporting the teeth. In order to prevent further damage, a quick visit to your dentist is essential to prevent further progression.
3 Periodontitis (Severe)
This is the most advanced stage of gum disease, characterized by significant tissue and bone loss around the teeth
If you have prolonged high blood glucose levels, it can develop or worsen gum disease more quickly. But if you keep your blood glucose levels within a normal range, it will reduce the risk of infection spreading.
Unfortunately, when your body starts to fight an infection, the blood glucose levels will rise in response. Should the infection in your mouth become worse, you could have problems with food intake, which might directly affect your diabetes management.
Prevention of Dental Problems if You Have High Blood Sugar Levels
The best method to prevent diabetes-related complications in your dental health – is to maintain optimal control of your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar regularly and notify your doctor in case you cannot control your levels with oral medications, diet, or insulin.
In addition, you should also take excellent care of your teeth and gums through regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. You may check with your dentist if you need to make more frequent visits. If you do notice any warning signs for dental problems and gum disease, seek immediate dental treatment.
You should also check your mouth for abnormalities every month. This should include looking for areas of white patches or dryness in your mouth. Bleeding areas might also be a matter of concern.
If you have a dental procedure scheduled without your blood sugar is under control, your doctor might need to postpone the dental procedure if it is not an emergency. This is because your risk for post-procedure infection is increased if your blood sugar levels are too high.
Most treatments for oral health conditions related to diabetes solely depend on the condition and its severity. Periodontal disease could be treated with a procedure called scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning procedure that removes tartar from below and above your gum line. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotic treatments after the procedure.
More rarely, individuals with advanced periodontal disease need gum surgery. This is essential as it can prevent tooth loss.
With careful attention to your blood sugar level control and dental health, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for a more extended period. Visit your dentist regularly and disclose your diabetes, symptoms you may be experiencing, and medications you are taking. This information will help your dentist provide the best treatments.