Diabetes and periodontal disease are extremely common throughout the United States, but did you know that having one puts you at higher risk for having the other?
According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes every year in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, while another estimated 86 million have prediabetes.
At that same time, nearly half of all Americans 30 or older (64.7 million people) have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
If you are one of the 30 million people with diabetes, you are at higher risk for suffering from gum disease, too.
If you have signs or symptoms of gum disease, our team at Dental Implants and Periodontology of Arizona can help. We are located in Maricopa County.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
Gum disease is more common that most people realize. In many cases, this is a mild condition. If it goes untreated, it can become quite severe. The worst case can even lead to losing your teeth.
How do you know if you might have gum disease?
One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding during or after you have brushed your teeth. You also might have red or swollen gums.
If you feel like you are constantly dealing with bad breath, that could also indicate that you have some form of periodontal disease.
In more serious cases, you may have receding gums (gums that have pulled away from your teeth). This may create gaps or pockets between your teeth and gums that can allow infections.
Loose teeth are another sign, as are changes in the way your teeth fit together.
There are two major types of gum disease — gingivitis and periodontitis.
People with gingivitis generally have more minor symptoms — gums that are swollen or bleed easily. This can develop into periodontitis without proper care.
If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, there is a chance you have periodontitis. In the latter stages of this condition, your teeth will become looser and may fall out.
How is diabetes connected to gum disease?
You may be wondering why diabetes raises your risk of having periodontal disease.
People who have diabetes have high blood sugar levels. Sometimes this is because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or because their bodies do not respond the way they should to insulin.
People who have difficulty keeping their blood sugar under control are also more likely to develop gum disease.
One reason for this is that diabetics may have thicker blood vessels. This can make it harder for your body to remove waste products and to deliver nutrients where they are needed.
Diabetics may also have higher levels of glucose in their mouths. This is bad because the bacteria that can cause gum disease live on sugars, and higher sugar levels can allow those bacteria to thrive.
Treating periodontal disease
The best treatment for periodontal disease is prevention.
If you have diabetes, do your best to keep your blood sugar under control. This reduces the effects of diabetes that make gum disease more likely.
Next, practice good oral hygiene. This is true whether you have diabetes or not. Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice every day for two minutes each time and to floss once a day between your teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing remove plaque (which can cause tartar buildup). Oral hygiene is your first step, and your best defense, against gum disease.
It’s also important to schedule regular exams with your dentist. Routine visits to Dental Implants and Periodontology of Arizona allow us to identify gum disease in the early stages and take steps to correct it before it becomes severe.
If however, you are showing signs of gum disease, please try to see us as soon as possible.
We use modern technology to diagnose and treat your condition. Our endoscope allows us to more easily identify plaque deposits, and perioscopy helps us treat gum infections that may have been hidden otherwise.
In most cases, we can treat your gum disease without surgery, which is something we can all appreciate.
Are you concerned about gum disease?
If you are concerned that you might be suffering from periodontal disease, don’t delay.
Make plans to see our team at Dental Implants and Periodontology of Arizona at your earliest convenience. If you live in or near Maricopa County, call 602-842-6841 or schedule an appointment on our website.
Find out how implants can improve your life! Fill out the form below for instant access.