Diabetes is a chronic disease with the potential of affecting all organs and organ systems. One of the complications of diabetes is teeth cavities and gum disease, with the risk of loss of teeth. 20% of diabetic patients suffer from periodontal disease. Diabetic pregnant women are at a particular risk for this complication (“every pregnancy costs a tooth”)
Our saliva usually contains bacterial flora. Starches and sugar in food and beverages interact with these flora and form plaque on the surface of the teeth. Acids in the plaque attack surrounding tissue and lead to gum disease and cavities. The higher the blood sugar level the greater is the concentration of sugar and starches in the saliva. This again leads to a higher probability and severity of the onset of gum disease.
Diabetic complications of gum and teeth:
- If plaque is not removed with regular brushing, plaque will harden under the gum line and build calculus. This irritates the gingiva. Over time, the gum gets swollen and bleeds easily; we call this gingivitis.
- Periodontitis: if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection, destroying the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes the gum and jawbone to pull away from the teeth, which in turn causes the teeth to loosen and possibly fall out. Severe periodontitis on the other side may cause blood sugar level to rise, which makes diabetes more difficult to be controlled. A vicious circle begins with the risk of loss of teeth.
- Increased blood sugar levels in the saliva promote building of plaque. Acids in the plaque attack surrounding tissue and lead to cavities.
Signs of periodontitis
- Red, swollen gums that bleed easily
- Gums pulled away from teeth, let them appear longer
- Pus between the teeth when the gums are pressed
- Constant bad breath and/or bad taste in the mouth
- Teeth becoming loose
Diabetes dental health action plan:
- Rigorous commitment to the diabetic management is the most important prophylactic factor to avoid dental complications: take your medication to control blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, refrain from smoking, change toward a healthy life style with regular workout and healthy diet.
- Carefully perform you mouth hygiene with a smooth tooth brush and dental floss
- Have annual consultation with your dentist to carefully remove all plaque and treat inflammation and cavities
We cordially invite you to join our Amber Diabetes Registry or our Amber Diabetes Patient Education Program. As Amber Clinics consider Diabetes Registry and Interactive Diabetes Education as a Corporate Social Responsibility, attendance of both programs is free of cost for everybody.
Please contact us if you have questions.
cell phone: 050 153 0873
Amber Clinics: Amber Clinics: Rigga, International City
Al Noor Polyclinics: Deira and Satwa
Dr Joseph Polyclinic: Karama, Qusais