Diabetes is on the rise, it's estimated that there are 415 million adults aged 20-79 with diabetes worldwide, including 193 million who are undiagnosed. A further 318 million adults are estimated to have impaired glucose intolerance which puts them at high risk of developing the disease.
What Does This Mean For Your Teeth?
High levels of sugar in your blood and the inability to control the level of sugar can lead to severe gum disease if not effectively treated.
Severe gum disease was associated with significantly higher levels of HbA1C (a blood test that measures your glucose control) in people and there appears to be a direct relationship between diabetes and gum disease.
Why You Should Have Your Gums Checked
If you think you could have diabetes, make an appointment to get your gums checked. People with diabetes have a higher chance of getting gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and may make your diabetes harder to control. The earlier you seek help, the better the outcome will be.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
- Bleeding from your gums or blood in the sink after you brush your teeth
- Bad taste
- Longer looking teeth
- Loose teeth
- Spaces getting bigger between teeth
- Calculus or Tartar between teeth
- Red or swollen gums
I Don't Have Any Of These Signs, Can I Still Get Gum Disease?
Gum disease may also be present and get worse with no apparent signs. Especially if you smoke, so even if you don't think you have gum disease now, you should have regular check-ups as part of managing your diabetes. Your dentist should be able to pick up early signs of gum disease.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
You should clean your teeth and gums twice daily at home for a minimum of 2 minutes. Also cleaning in-between the teeth daily is important and your dentist or hygienist will be able to show you how to do this.