Could Untreated Gum Disease Increase Your Risk of Getting Diabetes?
Posted on 5/10/2021 by Dr. Boustany
If gum disease is left untreated, it will increase your risk of getting diabetes, especially if you are already diagnosed as being pre-diabetic.
How Untreated Gum Disease Can Lead to Full-blown Diabetes
If you do not treat periodontal disease, it can cause your blood sugar level to rise, which can cause diabetes. Therefore, to keep the blood sugar from rising, it is important to have gum disease problems treated immediately. This is not the type of condition that can wait. You need to address the issue as soon as possible.
How Diabetes Impacts Your Oral Health
Once you have diabetes, it will, in return, affect your oral health as well. While gum disease will increase your level of glucose, that increase will also impact your gingival health. When you have too much sugar or glucose in your blood, from diabetes, you can experience severe tooth, jaw, and gum pain, and ongoing inflammation and infections.
Glucose in the Saliva
The reason increased glucose levels affect gum health is because it is present in the saliva. Therefore, an increased glucose level in the saliva supports the growth of harmful bacteria. These bacteria combine with the food you eat to form a clear and sticky substance known as plaque. While certain forms of plaque cause dental decay or cavities, other forms of plaque trigger bad breath and gum disease. Therefore, gum disease can take longer to heal if you have diabetes. It can also make it more difficult to control your diabetes. If you do not remove the plaque, it turns into tartar, over time, and builds up along the gum line. This causes the gums to bleed and become red and swollen. If the disease advances, the gums will pull away from the teeth, forming spaces called pockets. Over time, the body's response to the infection and the infection itself negatively affects the tissues and bones supporting the teeth.
As you can see, you need to work with your doctor in controlling your diabetes and receive the necessary periodontal treatment. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for an exam and consultation.