As type 2 diabetics generally have high cholesterol, they are at a higher risk of contracting gum disease. This is more so for those whose diabetes is not under control. A secondary link between diabetes and gum disease is that once diabetics contract gum disease, it becomes much more difficult to control their blood glucose level. The key to curing gum disease for diabetics is to maintain a balanced blood glucose level. Not doing so can lead to a lifetime of oral health problems.
Though it has been known for some time that a link exists between diabetes and gum disease, recent research has shown how diabetes increases the risk for gum and other periodontal diseases. Though one might suspect otherwise, high blood sugar has little to do with gum disease. The link is made through the fact that most type 2 diabetics became that way through unhealthy eating that also raised their cholesterol. High cholesterol changes the way the body reacts to plaque in the mouth. The body becomes less able to fight infection and is more prone to gum disease.
Once a diabetic contracts gum disease, the condition makes it difficult to control his blood glucose level. In essence, eating healthily becomes harder when experiencing oral pain and swelling of the gums. Diabetes and gum disease can become a vicious circle, so diabetics should visit their dentist as soon as possible after symptoms of gum disease appear. Dentists are able to provide palliative measures until the effects from long-term treatment take effect.
The best long-term treatment for diabetes and gum disease is for diabetics to follow a dietary plan that lowers cholesterol and normalizes blood glucose level. If caught early enough, the gums will heal without significant side effects. Outside of normal gum health, this lifestyle prevents other degenerative symptoms of diabetes such as renal failure and heart disease.
If diabetics do not take corrective lifestyle measures, gum disease will develop into an advanced state, periodontitis. Periodontitis causes the bone supporting the teeth to degrade. Common symptoms are bleeding gums, loose teeth and bad breath. Repairing damage caused by periodontitis may involve multiple oral surgeries that require lifetime maintenance. Therefore, diabetics should not take lightly the connection between diabetes and gum disease.