Diabetes and Gum Diseases… It’s a Two-way Street

By Juan M. Teodoro, D.M.D. –

Diabetes and Gum DiseasesMost diagnosed Diabetic patients are aware of the importance of regulating their blood sugar levels for the well-being of their body – from head to toe. Few Diabetic patients however, are aware of the oral complications associated with Diabetes. Diabetic patients are at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease and thus loosing teeth. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes.

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial gum infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that holds the teeth in place. If left untreated, the teeth fall out or need to be removed due to serious abscesses. Studies show that diabetic patients are up to 4.2 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than those without diabetes. This is probably because diabetic patients are more susceptible to contracting infections. Research suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways. Periodontal disease makes more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Periodontal disease in most instances, increases blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetic patients at an increased risk for diabetic complications. Diabetes slows circulation. Therefore, diabetic patients who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection. This recommendation is supported by a study reported in the Journal of Periodontology in 1997 involving 113 Pima Indians with both diabetes and periodontal disease. The study found that when their periodontal infections were treated, the management of their diabetes markedly improved. In fact, periodontal treatment combined with antibiotics has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and thus decreasing insulin requirements.

The good news is that if your diabetes is under control, you are less likely to develop periodontal disease than someone whose diabetes is poorly controlled. Another study published in the Journal of Periodontology concluded that poorly controlled diabetic patients respond differently to bacterial tartar at the gum line than well-controlled diabetic patients. Poorly controlled patients with diabetes also have more harmful proteins in their gum tissue causing destructive inflammation of the gums

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes and have been treated by you general dentist for gum pockets, or received a deep cleaning or antibiotic gum therapy more than once it is likely that you already have periodontal disease. Keep in mind, that once bone support is lost it cannot be restored, however, there are many ways to arrest periodontal disease. A Periodontist, the dental specialist who diagnoses and treats periodontal disease is the most qualified dentist than can discuss and provide the different Periodontal treatment options for the Diabetic patients particular needs.

To learn more about Periodontal Treatment Options and Periodontal / Oral Health visit: www.bonitaimplants.com or call 239-333-4343.

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