relationship between diabetes and gum diseases - colgate india

Understanding Diabetes Gum Problems

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

According to the National Centre for Disease Control, the prevalence of diabetes in the country is 9%. Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90% and Type 1 accounts for up to 10% of all diabetes. The NCDC further explains that It is estimated that there are another 3.5 crore undiagnosed cases of diabetes and double is the burden of prediabetes. Due to the prevalence of diabetes, it is critical to know how it can affect your body, and what to do if you detect gum problems.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is an illness that increases the risk for various health complications such as skin disorders, blindness, nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disease and gum disease. The condition denotes the body's inability to produce or process insulin on its own, and therefore blood sugar is harder to control. Some types of diabetes are preventable, so taking care of yourself is an important part of reducing your risk.

The Indian Dental Association School-based oral health program highlights that oral health has a direct impact on body health. Infections in the teeth and gums can lower immunity, your body's first defence against many toxins and diseases that may enter the body and can lead to many serious conditions and life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes etc.

How Does it Relate to Gum Disease?

Research suggests the relationship between diabetes and gum disease is a two-way street. e-DantSeva notes that Gum disease, also known as Periodontal disease, is caused when bacteria in plaque (a sticky, colourless film that forms in mouth) builds up between gums & teeth. Its symptoms includes: Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth; Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food; Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before; Loose or separating teeth; Pus between your gums and teeth; Persistent bad breath; A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite; A change in the fit of partial dentures. The NOHP explains that there is strong link between gum disease and diabetes. People with diabetes are not only more at risk of gum disease, but gum disease can also affect the severity of their diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. In addition, people who have inadequate blood sugar control may develop more-frequent and severe infections of the gums and the bone that holds teeth in place, and they may lose more teeth than do people who have good blood sugar control. At the same time, gum disease makes it difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar, leading to the progression of the disease.

What Can I Do?

If you are diabetic and want to prevent diabetes gum problems, you must first control your blood glucose levels. If your blood sugar is not well regulated, you may need to postpone any non-emergency dental procedures. People diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes need to be extra proactive with their oral health. Good oral habits should include brushing for two minutes twice a day and using floss at least once a day. Even with these good habits, professional dental cleanings may need to be scheduled more often, every three to four months, in order to maintain oral wellness. Make sure you see your dentist if you experience any signs of gum disease – such as red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath or loose teeth. Other oral health problems associated with diabetes include fungal infection and dry mouth.