November is Diabetes Awareness Month and there are approximately 29 million Americans living with this disease. Diabetics are prone to many co-morbidities, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and are at an increased risk for stoke, heart disease and kidney disease. But did you know diabetics are also at a higher risker for gum disease?
Research shows that there is a link between advanced gum disease and diabetes. Diabetics are more prone to developing gum disease, but gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people living with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease. This is because diabetics are more prone to infections and have a weakened immune system that can fight the bacteria that causes gum disease.
The Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red and swollen gums that bleed often during brushing or flossing and are tender to the touch
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth, exposing the roots
- Milky white or yellowish plaque deposits, which are usually heaviest between the teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums accompanied by tenderness or swelling in the gum area
- A consistent foul, offensive odor from the mouth
The American Diabetes Association recommends controlling your blood glucose levels and taking good care of your gums and teeth. This includes regular checkups every six months. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove and clean them daily with antibacterial denture cleaning tablets.