Question: My hygienist told me my gums and diabetes are affecting each other. Is this true, and if so, why?
Answer: Your hygienist is telling you the truth. Diabetics are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Gum disease also has the potential to negatively affect blood glucose control and, conversely, blood glucose level can negatively affect your periodontal disease.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease compared with those who are not diabetic.
Diabetics are more susceptible to bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to fight the germs that invade the gums.
Serious gum disease may also affect the ability to control blood glucose levels and could potentially contribute to the progression of diabetes.
The key to controlling both diabetes and periodontal disease is prevention. Reducing bacteria and eliminating biofilm both above and below the gum line is the best course of action. This may be done in the office with scaling and root planing, and routine dental hygiene visits. It is also important for you to do your part with proper brushing at least two times a day and flossing once daily.
Dr. Mitchel Senft is a member of the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He has been treating patients with the aid of sedation since 1984. He is also a Diplomate with the Congress of Oral Implantologists. If you would like more information on the topics discussed and how they might pertain to your dental needs, you may visit Dr. Senft on the web,www.southfloridasedationdentistry.com, or call the office, (561) 967-2001, for a complimentary consultation.
South Florida Sedation Dentistry
6633 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach