According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), men and women who suffer with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease (gum disease). For medical professionals, the new link is just another piece of evidence illustrating the complex and interconnected nature of the human body. But for adults who suffer with type I or II diabetes, the research is a clear warning to stay vigilant in the fight against oral infection and tooth decay.
Does diabetes cause gum disease?
According to information made available by AAP on Perio.org, the link between periodontal disease and diabetes is correlation only. Although more research is needed, it is thought that diabetes can cause gum disease, “probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections,” (Diabetes and Periodontal Disease, Perio.org). AAP warns that the relationship is a two-way street, however.
Gum disease might also make it more difficult for individuals who suffer with diabetes to regulate their blood sugar. Because diabetes affects the pancreas and its ability to produce insulin, diabetics must rely on insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar. Periodontal infections appear to make that process more difficult, putting diabetics at risk of damage to blood vessels, nerves, heart, eyes, and kidneys.
What about gum disease and heart disease?
To make matters worse, AAP warns that gum disease may cause heart disease and increase risk of stroke. Diabetes also increases the risk of heart disease, placing diabetics with gum disease in an extremely dangerous position.
Holistic Care for Long Term Oral Health
If you or a loved one suffers with diabetes, it is vital that you find a holistic dentist who understands how blood sugar affects treatment, healing, and care. At Assure A Smile, lead dentist Dr. Ted Herrmann is experienced in holistic dentistry, nutrition, and integrated medicine.
We invite South Florida residents to schedule an appointment to experience holistic dentistry firsthand, or call our friendly front desk at 305-274-0047.