The effects of diabetes on the body are many and varied, and so are the potential complications. One of the ways diabetes impacts the body is by making it harder to fight infections. That reduced ability to ward off infection can leave people with diabetes vulnerable to a host of conditions that arise from infections, including severe gum disease, also called periodontitis.
A study published by experts at the American Dental Association found that individuals with diabetes may be at higher risk of developing gum disease than those without diabetes. That’s because periodontitis is an infection of the gums, one that even healthy individuals can have a hard time overcoming.
But high blood sugar levels not only make it more difficult to fight gum disease, but also make it easier for the condition to develop in the first place. Thickened blood vessels caused by high blood sugar can reduce the flow of nutrients and removal of wastes from body tissues, including the gums and bones. Additionally, inadequately controlled diabetes leads to higher blood sugar levels in the mouth fluids that promote the growth of the bacteria that can cause gum disease. Conversely, infections from untreated periodontal disease can cause blood sugar to rise and make it harder to control diabetes. Together with poor oral hygiene, these diabetes-related factors can lead to periodontal disease.
Left untreated, gum disease can lead to irreversible tooth loss because the infection can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Signs of periodontitis include:
Signs of periodontitis include the following:
- Red, swollen gums that bleed frequently or easily;
- Gums that have pulled back from your teeth, making them appear longer;
- Pus between the teeth when the gums are pressed;
- Consistent bad breath or a constant bad taste in your mouth;
- Loose teeth;
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite;
- A change in the fit of your partial dentures.
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check With CGM
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for everyone, but for people with diabetes, it is even more critical. In addition to all of the well-known ways to keep our teeth and gums healthy – brushing, flossing, regular dental visits – people with diabetes need o keep their blood glucose levels as close to their target level as possible to reduce their risk of developing gum disease and other complications.
One way to ensure that you keep your blood levels in check is through Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). It is a tested, approved, accurate, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor keep abreast of their blood sugar levels 24/7 without any need to stop what their doing to take a blood sample.
Speak with your doctor and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.