November 30, 2015
Many adults suffer from a form of periodontal (gum) disease. It can range from basic inflammation of the gums to a very serious condition that leads to major soft tissue and bone damage. In extreme cases, tooth loss can occur. In addition to the oral health problems that gum disease causes, studies have shown links to problems that occur outside of the mouth and teeth. Research has shown, for example, that women suffering from this condition have been more likely to deliver low birth weight, preterm babies, when compared to those with healthy gums. Gum disease dangers also include the development of heart disease and diabetes.
Gum disease and diabetes are connected in the following ways:
- Bacteria: Many germ types grow exponentially on sugars, one of which is glucose: the type of sugar connected to diabetes. When a patient does not control their diabetes, the mouth can have higher-than-average glucose levels, which may lead to germ growth and make gum disease more likely.
- Blood Sugar Control: People with diabetes must work to control their blood sugar levels and those who do not manage these properly face gum disease more frequently and in more serious variations. They also tend to lose more teeth than their counterparts with maintained blood sugar levels. It is unfortunate that the condition of periodontal disease makes it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels.
- Blood Vessel Alterations: Diabetes triggers the thickening of blood vessels, slowing the transport of nutrients and waste expulsion. This can make gum and bone tissue more susceptible to infection.
- Infection Fighting: Diabetes sufferers are more prone to bacterial infection, and less able to fight gum bacteria, therefore they are at a heightened risk for severe gum disease.
Dr. Shefter and Dr. Fertik, a leading periodontists in Hendersonville, NC, has gotten demonstrated results working with patients who are dealing with the effects of gum disease. Call our office today at (828) 513-2466 so we can get started on improving your oral health.