The Connection Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

Apr 5th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry

Gum DiseaseIt’s been said time and time again that oral and overall health go hand in hand. Today, San Francisco dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu wants to address this connection by discussing the relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease—also called gingivitis, periodontal disease, and periodontitis—is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums and is caused by a build up of dental plaque at the gum line. If left untreated, gum disease can escalate quickly, forming pockets of bacteria between the teeth and the gum tissue, causing gum recession, and ultimately damaging your teeth, your jawbone underneath, and your overall health.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal. Type 1 diabetes occurs in young children and is often based on genetics, while type 2 diabetes usually occurs during adulthood and can often be controlled with weight management.

What is the Connection Between Gum Disease and Diabetes?

Large amounts of research show that a correlation exists between gum disease and diabetes, but what exactly does this research show? To put it simply, the connection between gum disease and diabetes is a two-way street. Patients with gum disease are more likely to develop diabetes, and patients with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease.

Why is this? Because diabetics are more susceptible to infection, a patient with diabetes can develop periodontal disease more easily than a non-diabetic patient. Individuals who don’t have their diabetes under control are even more at risk for periodontal disease and the related complications. On the other hand, severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, which is the root condition of diabetes. For this reason, diabetic patients might have difficulty managing their gum disease and should receive professional health care and guidance at the earliest stage of the infection.

To reserve an appointment with Dr. Moiceanu, call Hilltop Family Dental in Richmond, California at (510) 758-7222. We serve patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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