Gum disease prevention for patients with diabetes


By:  Sue Cotey and Andrea Harris, RNs

Gum disease – or gingivitis – has been called the fifth complication of diabetes behind heart, nerve, kidney and eye disease. Gingivitis is simply the inflammation of the gums around your teeth caused by plaque buildup.

So, why are you more at risk for developing gingivitis if you have diabetes?

Gum disease begins with bacteria build up on and around your teeth that extends into the gums.  There is no difference between the bacteria in the mouth of someone with diabetes compared to someone without diabetes. The reason gum disease is worse if you have diabetes is because you have a greater inflammatory response to this bacteria.

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