Ninety percent of good dental care is self care, according to Diabetes Self Management. Much has been written about gum inflammation and diabetes; symptoms of periodontal disease-like gum inflammation can worsen symptoms of the other. But knowing the stages of diabetes where you're most likely to see these partner symptoms, and what preventive steps to take, will help improve the quality of your life with diabetes.
Is Periodontal Disease More Common in Type One or Type Two Diabetes?
There's no definitive evidence that periodontal disease is more common in one type of diabetes than the another. But in a study posted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), both groups with uncontrolled diabetes showed a significant increase in periodontal disease. So, whether you're diagnosed with type one or type two, managing your diabetes, along with excellent oral care, is more important than what type of diabetes you have when it comes to gum disease.
At What Stage of Diabetes Should I Be Most Concerned with Gum Disease?
Diabetes has five observed stages, according to the ADA, and as your condition progresses, partner symptoms of gum disease, like inflammation or soreness, also progress. Even though gum disease is more probable the higher the stage of diabetes, you should still be concerned if you've been diagnosed with stage one diabetes; gum disease can go undetected at this stage, when early prevention is key. Be sure to commit to good oral care at every stage with products like Colgate Total® toothpaste, which helps reduce gingivitis.
What If I Have Inflamed Gums?
Chronic inflammation, as is the case in gum disease, can cause several other diseases. Inflammation decreases your body's immune response, particularly if you have an autoimmune disease like diabetes. If you have inflamed gums, you should immediately make an appointment with your dentist and alert your doctor as well, but don't stop there. Plaque causes tooth decay and can cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) so getting in the habit of preventive care as soon as you are aware of inflammation is important.
Preventing Periodontal Disease at Every Stage of Diabetes
Stage One Diabetes: Many diabetics are so focused on managing their blood-glucose levels that they sometimes falter on other self care, including increased oral care. This is a crucial period: In the first stage of diabetes, gum disease can produce so few signs that you may not even notice, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But those who manage their diabetes will exponentially decrease the partner symptoms of other diseases, like gum inflammation in periodontal disease. Get in the habit now of monitoring your gums daily for inflammation, redness, tenderness and any bleeding. Alert your dentist of your diabetes diagnosis to set up a treatment plan, and commit to excellent daily oral care.
Stages Two to Four Diabetes: Your chance of periodontal disease increases as your body's ability to use and make insulin decreases in stages two to four diabetes, according to the ADA study. The first stage of diabetes can last a number of years with relatively little repercussion. In stage two through four diabetes, your body can no longer metabolize insulin in a stabilized way. And stage two is when most diabetics will begin to see gum inflammation, if they're not completely on top of their insulin management. Along with daily gum monitoring and fastidious home oral care, routine dental checkups every four to six months are a must at this stage and should be part of your treatment plan.
Stage Five Diabetes: This is the acute stage, where your body's completely dependent on insulin injections, and the risk of critical illness is high. Without attention to good oral care, inflammation and gum disease are strikingly probable at this stage. However, immediate attention to excellent oral care now can help stave off serious secondary illness at this stage, like heart and renal disease.
Managing gum inflammation and diabetes can be overwhelming. But impeccable oral care, daily monitoring for gum disease, and regular dental visits will decrease both gum inflammation and risk of severe periodontal disease, increasing the quality of your life.