Dr Soltani of Kingston dentist explains that diabetes can have an overall effect on the body, eyes, kidney and heart, what is less known is that oral health can also suffer at some stage of the disease. It is estimated that 1 in 3 diabetics suffer from gum disease.
People with diabetes are at special risk for periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Smoking makes these problems worse.
The symptoms of gum disease in diabetic patients
The symptoms of gum disease, as a result of diabetes, may manifest themselves individually or in groups. To obtain an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to consult a dental health expert.
The symptoms may include the following:
- Bleeding in mouth stimulated by brushing and/or flossing
- Swollen, red or tender gums
- Gums in recession
- Loose teeth
- Presence of pus between teeth/gums
- Changed bit or jaw alignment
- Persistent bad breath
Different forms of gum disease:
There are two common forms of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and is characterised by swollen, red or tender gums. This may cause them to bleed easily during standard dental health care routines such as brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can usually be averted by a dentist, and by following a home dental health care program.
Periodontitis (Mild): When gingivitis goes untreated, it may lead to mild periodontitis. This stage of the disease will begin to erode the bone around the tooth. In order to prevent further erosion, it will be necessary for the patient to have prompt medical attention.
Periodontitis (Sever): This is the most advanced stage of gum disease, and is characterised by significant tissue and bone loss around the teeth.
Treatment of gum disease
Good blood glucose control is a must in controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood glucose control get gum disease more often and more severely than people whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and good blood glucose control are the best defence against the oral complications of diabetes.
It is very important for all people with diabetes to visit a dentist regularly, so that any gum problems can be detected and treated before they become too severe. Your dentist may also clean your teeth for you on a regular basis, or may ask you to see a dental hygienist for cleaning.
If you think you might be suffering from gum disease, make a FREE gum disease consultation appointment with our highly experienced dentist at our Kingston dentist.