For years, dentists have known that oral health and overall systemic health are linked.  Now, more and more research recognizes the significant link between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to fight infection and diabetics are more prone to develop gum disease.  Inflammation, and the destruction that occurs as a result of it, is a key factor in the development and progression of both diabetes and gum disease.  Diabetics may have difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels, even with medication, if they have uncontrolled gum disease.  Conversely, patients with gum disease, even those who are undergoing treatment for it, may find their efforts unsuccessful if they lack glycemic control.
If you are diabetic, you should see your dentist regularly.  You may need to have cleanings done more frequently depending on the condition of your gums.
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Gums that pull away from the teeth
  • Bleeding gums with brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth feel like they don’t fit together properly
If you have any of the above signs, regardless of whether or not you are diabetic, you should see your dentist for an evaluation.
The good news is that both physicians and dentists are aware of the relationship between these two diseases and will work with one another to co-manage a patient’s care.