Diabetes and gum disease go hand-in-hand. Often when a person has one of these diseases, they are at risk for the other. Gum disease often serves as a predecessor to diabetes and the same is true in the reverse. Understanding the signs of gum disease can allow you to get help right away to get it under control. If you do have diabetes, it is essential that you brush and floss regularly to prevent the rapid acceleration of the disease as the high levels of blood glucose in your body could cause gum disease to rapidly escalate.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the beginning stages of gum disease and if not treated, it leads its way into periodontitis, which can result in the loss of teeth as well as the bones in the mouth. In the early stages of gum disease, the gums become swollen and red. You might notice that they bleed while you are brushing or that you constantly have bad breath. In the later stages of periodontitis, you could experience teeth that begin to pull away from your gums or teeth that are suddenly loose. Some people also notice a change in their bite because their loose teeth begin to shift.
Other Risk Factors
In addition to the risk of diabetes, gum disease also puts you at risk for other serious health issues including heart disease and kidney disease. Heart disease can occur from the high levels of bacteria in the mouth. It can also occur as a result of the inflammation of the gums that causes other parts of the body to have an inflammatory response.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you have diabetes or are at risk for it, doing your best to prevent gum disease is in your best interest. The easiest way to ensure that you do not become a patient with gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth at least two times per day. If you can brush after every meal that you eat, you lower your risks even further. In addition, it is vital that you keep your dental checkup appointments at least twice per year. This allows us to give your teeth a thorough cleaning, but also allows a thorough exam to determine if you have any early signs of gum disease. The quicker you take care of the disease, the less damage it will do to your body.