Caring for your teeth and gums is important, but it may be more vital than you realize. Many Americans brush, floss and visit a dentist regularly to protect their oral health without realizing they are protecting their overall health and well-being. One place this connection is evident is in the interdependence of diabetes and gum disease in Madison, WI.
What Is Gum Disease?
According to the CDC half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease, develops from plaque, which is a film that can build up on your teeth over time. Plaque contains bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. As plaque builds on the teeth over time, brushing and flossing can help remove the plaque and stop it from getting into the gums. However, when the gums aren’t treated correctly, plaque hardens and becomes tartar that won’t come off with brushing alone.
As tartar and plaque build on teeth, they can cause inflammation of the gums and can result in bleeding gums. Over time, if this gingivitis is left untreated, gum recession may occur where the gums pull away from the teeth and create pockets that are filled with bacteria. This will ultimately lead to the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis.
How Does This Affect Diabetes?
Those with diabetes are more likely to deal with periodontal disease than those without. While there is no direct link, many believe this is because diabetics are more prone to developing infections. Because of this, gum disease is often listed as a complication of diabetes, and risks are increased more for those who don’t control their diabetes.
Additionally, diabetics may have a harder time controlling their blood sugar when they have periodontal disease. Severe cases of the condition can lead to higher blood sugar, increasing the risks of complications from diabetes.
What Should You Do?
If you are diabetic in Madison, WI or Sun Prairie, WI, have gum disease and are concerned about how the two affect each other, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stevens by visiting our website or calling (608) 318-4012 to discuss your gum treatment options. Our goal is to improve your overall health with improved oral health.