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The Diabetes and Gum Health Connection

Millions of Americans struggle with diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body does not have enough insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. High or low blood sugar can impact the way your organs function. So managing this disease carefully is crucial to staying healthy.

Inflammation will affect your blood sugar as well. Conditions that trigger your body’s inflammatory response will therefore interfere with your ability to manage diabetes. Gum disease is an oral infection that can lead to this type of inflammation.

Gum disease is common, affecting half of American adults, so understanding this infection, especially in conjunction with diabetes, is necessary to maintain your health. Read on to learn more about how gum disease and diabetes can influence one another as well as your overall well-being.

The Diabetes and Gum Health Connection

Why Is Diabetes a Risk Factor for Gum Disease?

The way diabetes affects your blood means that this disease will impact almost every part of your body, including your mouth. Patients with diabetes can see a higher amount of glucose in their saliva. This will then encourage more bacterial build-up on the teeth, which will increase your risk of oral infections such as gum disease.

Gum disease will allow excess bacteria to eat away at the gum tissue, irritating the gums in its early stage. But as it progresses, it will hurt the teeth and jawbone, which could result in tooth loss or other irreversible dental damage.

Gum disease will not go away on its own, so talk to your dentist right away if you notice issues in your gums. Because of the need for dental intervention with gum disease, dentists promote preventative care for your gums.

One way to do this is to manage conditions that can increase this danger for your gums. So address your diabetes symptoms to reduce the likelihood of contracting gum disease.

How Does Gum Disease Affect Diabetes Management?

Diabetes will heighten your risk of contracting gum disease, but the inverse is true as well. Gum disease can make it more difficult to manage diabetes. Bacteria from this gum infection will inflame the tissue and trigger the body’s inflammatory response.

This in turn worsens existing conditions throughout the body, including diabetes. For instance, inflammation raises blood sugar and worsens symptoms stemming from diabetes. Prevent and treat gum disease to get rid of inflammation that can impact diabetes. Doing this will involve taking care of your smile.

How Can I Promote Healthy Gums?

Preventative care for your gums will involve efforts taken both at your home and at your dentist’s office. But you should prioritize gum health to avoid gum disease that can worsen diabetes management.

Good oral hygiene habits will clean plaque and excess bacteria from your teeth before they can infect your gums. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss each day, and attend routine cleanings at your dentist’s office. Ask your dentist about antibacterial mouthwash that will balance oral bacteria to further reduce your chances of infections.