Diabetes & Gum disease: A linked relationship

by Brenna Stone

Do you know that there is a link between diabetes and gum disease? Diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease than people who have healthy blood sugar levels. The relationship appears to go both ways; research indicates that having a serious gum infection can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Taking care of your mouth, whether you have diabetes or not, is more important than you may be aware of.

What Causes the Increased Gum Disease Risk?

What do high blood glucose levels have to do with your oral health? For a person with diabetes it is more difficult to defend the body from a bacterial infection; high glucose levels make it easier for bacteria to flourish in the mouth. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by a bacterial infection. The germs in plaque infect the teeth and gums, leading to gingivitis, the first stage of this disease. If left untreated, this oral health condition can result in tissue damage and eventual tooth loss. The more serious stages of gum disease are known as periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

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