Dr. John Verville and our team know that there is a strong link between periodontal disease and diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to this infection, and a worsening of either condition usually affects the other. Some of the connections between diabetes and periodontal disease include:
- Increased Blood Sugar: Research has shown that gum disease increases the levels of sugar in the body. This makes it more difficult for diabetics to control glucose levels in their blood. In turn, more sugars in the mouth provide more food for the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
- Blood Vessel Thickening: A function of blood vessels is to deliver nutrients and remove harmful waste products. However, with diabetics, the blood vessels thicken and cannot perform these functions. Waste products weaken gum tissue and make it more vulnerable to infection.
- Smoking: Tobacco use is harmful for anyone and increases their risk for gum disease, but for diabetics over the age of 45, the risk for periodontal disease is 20 times greater when they smoke.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Since this is the most common cause of periodontal disease, diabetics need to practice good oral hygiene religiously in order to prevent problems.
Diabetics should visit our dentist for regular check-ups. These exams and cleanings are even more important for those with diabetes since they are more susceptible to gum disease. If you are a diabetic who has developed gum disease, then our dentist will assess the problem and work with your physician to map out an appropriate treatment plan. You can call Dr. John D. Verville Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry to learn more about the correlation between periodontal disease and diabetes in Fleming Island, Florida.