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People with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease.  

If you have diabetes — or know someone who does — you will be familiar with the fact that the condition can lead to a number of health complications. One of the most common health-related issues associated with diabetes is an increased risk of gum disease.

Research suggests that individuals who have type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to developing gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, which can then advance into a more severe form of the condition known as periodontitis. This is because diabetes tends to affect one’s ability to fight off infection-causing bacteria. Read on to find out more about how diabetes could be affecting your oral health, and what you can do to maintain the condition of your smile…

What are the warning signs of gum disease?

Gum disease, especially in its early stages, often goes unnoticed. There are, however, a few warning signs to look out for. If you notice that your gums bleed easily and often, it is worth seeing your dentist for a check-up as sore, bleeding, and puffy gums are often signs of inflammation. Other possible symptoms of gum disease include frequent oral infections, and persistent bad breath.

If you have diabetes, it is very important that you manage the condition according to your doctor’s recommendations. By managing your blood sugar, you can help to protect your teeth and gums in the long-term.

What oral health issues can diabetes cause?

The oral health problem that most commonly affects those with diabetes is gum disease. In its early stages, you might notice some discomfort and bleeding, but if left untreated, you may develop periodontitis. This more serious stage of the condition can cause severe damage to the teeth and underlying bone, and even lead to tooth loss.

Diabetes also tends to slow down saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth. If you suffer from a dry mouth, you are likely to be at greater risk of mouth sores and ulcers, as well as tooth decay.

An increased risk of mouth infections is also associated with diabetes, as is slow wound healing.

Can you prevent oral health problems?  

The good news is that even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are a few things you can do to protect your teeth and gums and maintain a healthy smile. One of the most important steps you can take for both your oral and overall health is to keep your blood sugar in check — chat to your doctor about how best to do this.

In order to take proper care of your smile, it is essential that you practice proper oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and flossing daily. You might also find it beneficial to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing.

Try to see your dentist for a check-up and clean at least once every six months. This will help to keep any issues at bay, or at least allow for early treatment if problems are detected.  

How can we help?

At Oracare, we are committed to helping our patients maintain healthy and beautiful smiles for life. No matter your circumstances, we will do our best to provide you with the dental care that you need.

We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us at least twice a year. If you are particularly prone to gum disease or tooth decay because of another health issue, we may recommend that you schedule more regular appointments.

To see the full range of services that we offer at Oracare in Cleveland, please have a look here. For more information about our services or to arrange a consultation with us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (07) 3286 6914 or get in touch with us here.