Gum disease, known as Periodontitis in dental parlance, is a dreadful yet common bacterial infection affecting the gums. It can ultimately lead to loss of precious teeth if left undetected until it is too late. It is the soft tissue and underlying bone that are responsible for holding your teeth strongly in place, and if that very tissue is affected by infection, your teeth start becoming loose and shaky.
Most people may not be aware that one of the major culprits causing severe gum infections is the blood sugar level, especially when it is poorly managed. This can lead to alarming acceleration of the development of gum diseases, both in adults as well as young children. While fluoridation or the measured addition of fluoride to the tap water is a good way of preventing cavities, managing sugar levels often plays an even more important role in gum disease awareness.
When blood sugar levels reach unmanageable levels, the glucose level in the saliva also rises alarmingly, thus creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that multiply rapidly. With bacteria proliferating in the mouth, the affected person runs the risk of contracting gum disease, leading to dental decay.
Knowing that you are a diabetic, it is your duty to keep your dentist informed of your condition. Chronic diabetics need to go for regular dental check-ups (at least once in six months) where your gum health will be reviewed by your dentist. Your dentist is the best person who can explain to you about how to cut down gum disease with a regular dental visit. Apart from explaining how fluoride helps prevent gum disease, he or she will also help you with the initial management, well before dental decay can set in.
Gum disease is classified in dentistry according to the severity of the stage, and there are three stages to contend with. The initial stage is known as Gingivitis, which is caused due to poor oral hygiene and ignoring the plaque deposit in the teeth for too long. Call Dr. Vadivel T Kumar, DDS, FDS, RCS, MS, who is a board certified periodontist to get more information. You may also call any of his assistants over telephone at 817-756-8578 to fix an appointment to meet Dr Kumar at his office for a consultation. Early prevention can help you get cured completely, preventing unnecessary complications.
Although Gingivitis is reversible, if left untreated it can lead to a more advanced stage known as Periodontitis. Untreated Gingivitis often leads to a mild form of Periodontitis rather rapidly. This is more so with people who have a family history of gum disease, which can be compounded if you are a chronic diabetic as well. When Gingivitis progresses to Periodontitis where in addition to the gums, the underlying bone that supports the teeth is also affected, leading to erosion. At this stage, it is vital that you visit your dentist in Carlton/Grapevine and seek consultation and undergo proper treatment immediately.
If Periodontitis is ignored in its initial stages, it can progress to severe Periodontitis, which is the most advanced stage of gum disease. During this stage it is quite common to suffer from severe pain, which restricts one’s ability to chew food properly. With gum and bone loss becoming very severe, the teeth tend to loosen alarmingly. More often than not, the loosened teeth fall off, though they cause severe pain before eventually falling out.
It is easy to prevent such a situation if one keenly looks out for the classic symptoms at the initial stages itself. Gum disease awareness is very important, and it usually starts with mild bleeding in the mouth, which looks quite harmless and is not very painful. The bleeding is more profuse while brushing or flossing. If ignored, it can progress to swelling and redness, leaving you with sore gums.
Some Quick Tips for gum care for diabetics
- Go on a planned and healthy diet, which you can work out in consultation with your doctor and dietitian. Maintain set timings for your meals and follow them strictly.
- Have an exercise regimen of a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Consult your doctor who will guide on the physical activities best suited for you.
- Don’t ever skip your diabetes medicine, and make sure you take it at the same time every day.
- Do not forget to check your glucose levels on a daily basis and take note of any fluctuations. Maintain a log and keep your physician informed, especially if the variation is too drastic.
- Inspect your feet daily soon after getting out of bed and check for any blisters, unhealed cuts or wounds, sores or sudden swelling. Sores or redness in the feet are indicators.
- Maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing regularly twice daily.