June 23, 2016
Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States, and Oregon is not immune from this trend.
In 1996, 4 percent of Oregonians reported that they had been diagnosed with diabetes. In 2015, that number had risen to 9 percent, according to data from America’s Health Rankings.
This is down slightly from a peak of 9.9 percent in 2013, but the overall trend for the past 20 years is that more people are developing this disease.
You may be wondering why a dental office would care. Well, diabetes affects your oral health, and it can increase your risk for some specific problems, like gum disease.
We know that diabetes is never going to go away. As more people are affected by it, we want our patients in and around Salem, OR, to know how it can affect their dental care, too.
It’s also important that you know what Oregon Smile Care Center can do to help.
Gum Disease And Diabetes
People with diabetes are twice as likely as other people to develop gum disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease is already too common in the United States. You may or may not be aware that it is the leading cause of tooth loss in America.
While it’s clear that the there is a connection between diabetes and gum disease, the exact reasons have not be determined. With that caveat in mind, there is growing evidence to suggest that the connection is not just a coincidence.
In fact, many researchers are finding reasons to believe that these diseases affect one another.
One of the common symptoms of diabetes is dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in removing bacteria from your mouth. When you produce less saliva, it’s easier for bacteria to grow and to build plaque and tartar. Those conditions may gum disease more likely.
When you have gum disease, it may complicate your diabetes, too. Research has suggested that having gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels, which can make it more challenging to manage your diabetes.
In summary, having either of these conditions may make the other worse. This makes it all the more important to know the symptoms of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is considered the mild form of gum disease. Its symptoms are red, swollen gums and gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
In general, you can take these symptoms as a sign that you should improve your oral hygiene, perhaps by flossing more regularly. A majority of Americans admit that they do not follow the American Dental Association recommendation to floss daily.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress into periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease. Its symptoms are more noticeable and more serious.
In addition to swollen gums that bleed easily, you may notice that your gums feel sore or tender. Your gums can start to recede, which means they are separating from your teeth.
You also may develop pockets in your gum tissue, and the disease may start to weaken the bones that hold your teeth in place. With time, your teeth will feel loose and can fall out.
Other symptoms of gum disease include persistent bad breath or a constant bad taste in your mouth.
If you notice any symptoms of periodontitis, please call as right away.
Prevention And Treatment
While diabetes can increase your risk of gum disease, that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable.
Prevention is the best approach. This can be done by following the ADA’s basic guidelines for oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste two times every day for two minutes. Floss every day, too. And make routine visits to our dentist office for cleanings and examinations.
Gingivitis often can be treated with proper home care, but periodontitis requires help from dental professionals.
At our office, we use non-surgical gum disease treatments such as scaling and root planing. This is a deeper cleaning procedure than you receive during a routine cleaning.
Scaling and root planing are done to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar formations around the roots of your teeth.
We also have a dental laser. This can be used to remove bacteria from parts of your tissue that have been damaged by gum disease.
Our best advice for any patient in and around Salem, OR, is to be proactive about your oral care. Practice good prevention habits, and if you see signs of gum disease, act sooner rather than later to minimize any damage.