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Did you know? Diabetes and gum health influence each other. In fact, proper hygiene generally prevents dental and gum problems, but it also contributes to better blood sugar control and the prevention of various complications. Needless to say, good dental health habits become even more important for a person with diabetes.


Diabetes Worsens Gum Infections

High blood sugar can significantly worsen the gum health of someone with diabetes. Even minor gingivitis or inflammation can become problematic. Diabetes exacerbates this poor gum condition, often leading to periodontitis and even tooth loss.

Periodontitis, commonly known as periodontal disease, is characterized by the deterioration of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Bacterial or parasitic infections are usually the source of this advanced stage gum inflammation. Poorly controlled diabetes can triple the destructive effect of periodontitis.


How Can This Phenomenon Be Explained?

Certain diabetes-related symptoms have harmful consequences on dental health. For example, reduced saliva production hinders the mouth’s self-cleaning process, promoting plaque buildup. Increased glucose in saliva caused by poorly controlled diabetes allows bacteria to grow more easily. The loss of collagen in tissues also damages the periodontium (the tissues surrounding the tooth). Finally, poor blood circulation in the gums can impede healing.



Early detection of gum inflammation is highly beneficial for a person with diabetes, as it allows for immediate action on the cause of the problem before the situation deteriorates.

Obviously, good daily oral hygiene is clearly the best prevention for everyone. Periodic dental check-ups may need to be more frequent depending on the overall condition of your mouth. For people with high blood sugar, special attention (exams every four to six months) is recommended, especially for those who have difficulty controlling their diabetes or who neglect their daily oral hygiene.

Brushing after every meal and using a functional toothbrush with bristles that are not frayed and less than three months old should be part of your daily routine. Using dental floss is crucial in preventing periodontal disease as it reaches areas that are otherwise difficult to access and helps eliminate bacteria and plaque.

If you have trouble reaching certain areas between your teeth or using dental floss, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist without delay. There are tools available to facilitate various oral hygiene tasks. Don’t hesitate to ask about them, and most importantly, don’t forget your periodic exam!



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