Periodontal disease and diabetes

If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. Diabetes contributes to periodontal disease in several ways. It can—

  • Lower your body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Slow healing.
  • Cause dry mouth.
  • Often result in high blood sugar levels.

Your blood vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, including your mouth, and remove wastes. Diabetes causes the blood vessels to thicken and become less elastic, making you less resistant to infections, like periodontal disease. Diabetics often experience a decrease in the flow of saliva. This can lead to a condition called dry mouth, or xerostomia. A lack of saliva allows plaque, the sticky film of food and bacteria, to build up easily on teeth. This accumulation of plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, which can result in bone loss.

Having poorly controlled diabetes also means that there is often an excess level of glucose in the blood and saliva. Some think a higher glucose level may encourage the growth of the bacteria that live in plaque and are responsible for periodontal disease. We will work with your physician to monitor your diabetes and keep you in good health. You have to do your part by maintaining a meticulous oral homecare routine. Together, we can help keep you healthy and free of periodontal disease.