It shouldn’t be shocking that the health of your mouth affects the overall health of your body. But this may shock you, if you’re diabetic, you are 200% to 400% more likely to have gum disease! If you have diabetes it will make your dental problems worse and vise versa. One affects the other.
Good dental health improves your ability to control your diabetes. Good diabetic control lessens your dental problems and makes it easier to keep it that way. I would recommend those with diabetes be seen every three to four months for maintenance care.
Dental Health and Diabetes
So how does Periodontitis (gum disease) affect diabetes? Infections in your mouth cause inflammation in your body. If your gums bleed, you have at least a low-grade infection in your mouth. And such an infection in your mouth causes your liver to secrete three things: Cholesterol, Glucose and C-reactive protein. When your infection increases so does your glucose level. Since the body needs to fight the infection, it produces more glucose for cells to have the strength to fight the infection.
C-reactive protein is something we’re just beginning to understand. C-reactive protein is an inflammatory marker. When you see inflammation increase you will see the amount of C-reactive protein increase as well. In people with chronic gum disease, the amount of C-reactive protein is directly linked to the severity of the disease. The higher the C-reactive protein, the more likely you are to have a whole set of problems like heart attack, stroke and diabetes, which is particularly problematic for those with gum disease. This is because gum disease and diabetes amplify each other.
If you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get your teeth repaired and your gums healthy and see your dentist regularly. As always, we would love the opportunity to help you understand how to prevent dental problems from becoming a major threat to your health.