7 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease If You Have Diabetes

7 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease If You Have Diabetes

Sep 01, 2022

Gum disease is a leading oral concern among millions globally. Your risk of gum disease increases if you have underlying health conditions like diabetes. According to research, individuals with diabetes are about three times more likely to develop oral problems like gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes.

Diabetes and Gum Disease: Here’re Ways to Prevent

Perhaps the high glucose levels in the blood are to blame for increased oral issues among patients with diabetes. The high blood sugars can end up in your saliva, making your mouth a perfect growth of harmful bacteria. Naturally, your mouth contains harmful bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola, which are associated with gum disease.

When there are high sugars in the mouth, these bacteria grow and multiply, releasing harmful acids which attack the tooth’s enamel and irritate the gum tissues, causing tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Similarly, high blood sugars can damage the blood vessels and cells in your gums and mouth, making them susceptible to infections. Infections from untreated gum disease can spread to other body parts, weakening your immune system and worsening your diabetes. Other factors like smoking further puts at a greater risk of gum disease.

Symptoms of gum disease to watch out for include:

  • Receding gums
  • Red, sore, or swollen gums
  • Bleeding when eating or brushing
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Falling teeth
  • Painful and sensitive teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • A change in bit
  • Persistent bad breath

Besides gum disease, diabetes increases your risk of other oral issues like:

  • Tooth decay
  • Infections of the jawbone
  • Oral thrush (fungal infection)
  • Tooth loss
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Dental abscesses

Tips to Prevent Gum Disease if you have Diabetes

  • Manage your diabetes

Keeping your diabetes under control is the best way to prevent gum disease. When diabetes is under control, there will be less sugar concentration in the saliva, reducing the risk of bacteria overgrowth in the mouth, which leads to gum disease. Consult your doctor on how to control your blood sugars.

  • Stay hydrated

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of a dry mouth. A dry mouth happens when there’s reduced saliva production and flow in the mouth. It makes you susceptible to oral issues like gum disease, oral thrush, and tooth decay. Enough saliva is essential to wash away debris and bacteria from the mouth. Drinking water regularly will keep your mouth moist and prevent a dry mouth.

  • Maintain excellent oral health

Caring for your teeth and gums will help prevent gum disease and other oral problems linked to diabetes. To care for your mouth:

  • Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly at least twice daily.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily.
  • Avoid abrasive oral products.
  • Schedule frequent dental check-ups and cleanings.
  • Eat gum-friendly foods

What you eat can positively or negatively impact your gum health. Foods high in sugar and starch can increase your risk of bacteria attacks, causing gum disease. High sugar and starch diets also make diabetes hard to control, increasing your risk of gum disease. Consider eating foods rich in water, fiber, and fewer sugars like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.

  • Avoid tobacco products

Smoking is a key risk factor for numerous health conditions like periodontal disease, diabetes, and oral, throat, and lung cancers. Smoking slows down blood, oxygen, and nutrients flow to vital organs of the body like the gums, making you susceptible to infections. It also reduces the body’s ability to heal normally, making it harder to control diabetes and gum disease.

  • Keep your dental appliances clean

If you have diabetes and dental restorations or appliances like dentures or Invisalign, your risk of periodontal disease is even higher. To keep your gums healthy, clean your dentures and Invisalign trays regularly and thoroughly. Poor dental hygiene when using dental devices increases your risk of bacteria attacks, causing gum disease.

  • Schedule frequent dental check-ups and cleanings

While good at-home dental hygiene is essential to prevent gum disease among people with diabetes, it’s not enough. Frequent check-ups can help detect and treat potential oral issues like gum disease before they advance to severe stages. Contact our dentist near you for non-surgical gum disease therapy in Plymouth, NH.

Professional dental exam and cleaning also helps to eliminate plaque, tartar, and bacteria build-up in the mouth, further protecting you from gum disease. Contact our dentist in Plymouth, NH, for regular dental assessments.

Schedule an Appointment Today with our Dentist in Plymouth, NH

Do you need more information about gum disease and diabetes? Contact Dental Arts of Plymouth to book your appointment today.

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