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Tag: gum disease

May 20, 2014
Periodontitis Graphic

Graphic showing periodontitis near the tooth

Gum Disease is an infection by germs in the gums around your teeth. It is one of the most common infections in people throughout the world. In its more serious form – known as “periodontitis” – the infection is long lasting. The soft gums and bone around the teeth dissolve over time. This can lead to the loss of teeth. One-half of the U.S. Population 30 years and older has periodontitis, as do 60% of those over 60.

Periodontitis raises blood sugar and may lead to type 2 (Adult Onset) Diabetes

People with diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes, have more gum disease than those without diabetes. Now, scientists are finding that the sum disease raises blood sugar levels in people both with, and without diabetes.. At a recent meeting of the top dental and diabetes researchers from around the world, scientists looked closely at the latest research into how gum disease affects humans. They found that, compared with those having healthy gums, people with periodontal disease:

  1. have higher long-term blood sugar levels
  2. have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  3. have a higher risk of developing pregnancy diabetes
  4. have a harder time controlling their type 2 diabetes
  5. are at a higher risk of experiencing harm to eyes and kidneys, as well as heart attack and stroke

How does gum disease make blood sugar levels go up?

Scientists think that the germs that infect gums leak into the blood stream after normal activities like chewing or toothbrushing. This starts a reaction from your body’s defense system, which, in turn, produces some powerful molecules that have harmful eFfects all over your body. Pert of this is raising your blood sugar levels.

Can gum disease treatment help control your diabetes or tendency to become diabetic? YES! The good news is that in people with type 2 diabetes, treatment of periodontitis (for example, deep cleaning and scaling, laser decontamination, etc.) can lead to a drop in their blood sugar levels. The benefit is similar to what you might find if you added another medication to your diabetes medicine.

What you can do!

  2. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste.
  3. Clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner daily.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  5. Make sure your dentist checks your gums and measures the spacing between your teeth and gums looking for gum disease.

Whether you have type 2 diabetes or not, keeping your gums healthy can help you control this disease or your tendency towards it, as well as lower your risk of experiencing blindness, kidney disease, heart and stroke problems. The latest research on links between gum disease and diabetes, stroke, etc. show how important it is to have healthy gums. HAVING A HEALTHY MOUTH IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF GOOD OVERALL HEALTH!

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