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Diabetes Puts People at High Risk for Gum Disease

Diabetes Puts People at High Risk for Gum Disease

gum diseaseDiabetes: It’s a chronic condition that impacts nearly half of the U.S. population. According to a study published online in JAMA, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes — a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 — which reflects a lack of production of insulin to lower blood sugar, and Type 2 — which reflects a resistance to insulin and is generally the result of obesity, poor diet or lack of exercise leading to the metabolic syndrome. 20% of total health care costs or $116 billion, in the U.S. are attributed to diabetes.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth. It too is a chronic disease. Untreated, periodontal disease will lead to the loss of teeth. Numerous studies have shown that people with uncontrolled diabetes have more severe periodontal disease. Interestingly, the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes appears to be two-directional. If periodontal disease is worse, diabetes is worse and vice versa.

The inflammation caused by periodontal disease makes controlling sugar levels more difficult. This in turn can lead to increased resistance to insulin and worsening of diabetic control — which ultimately leads to more inflammation of the gums… and the cycle continues. BUT, all of us here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES can play a role in stopping or slowing this cycle.

Regular cleanings and appropriate treatment for gum disease can reduce inflammation and improve diabetic control in our diabetes patients. Recent research has shown that people with diabetes who have regular dental care have fewer diabetic complications.

If you have diabetes, please make dental bi-annual dental visits a priority. We can make sure your gums are as healthy as they can be, which should make managing your diabetes a little easier.

Is it time for an appointment? Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today.