People with chronic illnesses like diabetes understand the struggle of dealing with frequent, disruptive symptoms that can impact your entire body. Diabetes refers to a condition in which the body lacks insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. With low or high blood sugar, you can see a decline in the function of many of your organs. But you might not realize this can also affect your oral health, especially your gums.
You might also not know that other health problems, such as gum disease, an infection in your gum tissue, can impact your ability to manage chronic illnesses like diabetes. So to stay healthy, you will need to pay attention to both of these factors. Read on to learn more about the connection between gum disease and diabetes and how each condition will influence your overall well-being.
Why is Diabetes a Risk Factor for Gum Disease?
Diabetes’s effect on your blood will mean that you can experience widespread impact from this disease, including in your mouth. Patients with diabetes can have an increased amount of glucose in their saliva, which will encourage more bacterial build-up on the teeth as a result. The excess bacteria will put you in greater danger of contracting an oral infection like gum disease.
Gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue, begins with irritation and inflammation in the gums before spreading to deteriorate the teeth and jaw as well. It will not go away on its own and will worsen without swift intervention from a dentist.
So dentists recommend preventative care when it comes to gum health so that you do not contract this disease in the first place. Avoiding gum disease will mean addressing risk factors like diabetes to preserve your gums.
How Does Gum Health Impact Managing Diabetes?
Just as diabetes can increase your risk of contracting gum disease, the inverse is also true. Gum disease can make it harder to manage diabetes. This is because the infection inflames the gums and triggers the body’s inflammatory response.
As the body sends chemicals to aid the damaged cells from the infection, these chemicals can worsen existing conditions like diabetes. Inflammation can heighten blood sugar which will make symptoms of diabetes more severe.
Prioritize your gum health and treat gum disease promptly to better keep diabetes under control. And then in doing so, you can also improve your overall oral health.
How Can I Keep My Gums Healthy?
Promote good gum health by taking preventative measures both at home and at your dentist’s office. Good oral hygiene will clear away plaque and excess bacteria before they can infect your gums. So you should floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice per day.
To maximize oral hygiene benefits, you should also attend routine teeth cleanings with your dentist. During these appointments, the dentist will evaluate your gum health too. This way, they can diagnose and treat early signs of gum disease before it advances.