If you’re one of the nearly 30 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, you likely know how the disease can affect your heart, kidney and other important systems in your body. But did you know diabetes can directly affect your gum health?
Research shows that people with diabetes are usually at a higher risk for gum disease due to the fact diabetes makes it harder to control the bacteria in your mouth. This can lead to bacterial infection, gum loss, tooth loss and pain. The good news is that there are both warning signs for gum disease and ways to prevent it.
Warning Signs for Gum Disease
Gum disease can be deceiving, as there can be no pain, especially in its early stages. While your dentist can easily detect it symptoms, it may be harder for people with diabetes to spot signs of it. Fortunately, there are a variety of warning signs for gum disease.
Here are some of the most common ones, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA):
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss.
- Red, swollen, or tender gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth.
- Pus between the teeth and gums (when you press on the gums).
- Bad breath.
- Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite.
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures or bridges.
People with diabetes do have plenty of ways to address and/or prevent these problems.
Preventing Gum Health Issues
If you have diabetes, you may think you have to do something special to prevent gum health issues, but it’s actually not too different than normal dental hygiene and gum care practices. If anything, it should serve as extra motivation to keep your gums and teeth healthy, as gum disease can make it even harder to control blood sugar levels.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent gum health issues if you have diabetes:
- Limit sugary foods and drinks.
- Monitor your blood glucose levels.
- Brush twice a day for two minutes.
- Floss at least once daily.
- Rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash.
- Chew sugar-free gum regularly.
If you’d like to know more about diabetes and gum health, schedule a visit with us today.