If you have type 2 diabetes, it could be time to see your dentist – to make sure you don’t have gum disease. A new study shows that finding and treating gum disease in people with type 2 diabetes could help to lower glucose levels – not to mention save their teeth.
Reduce Blood Glucose By Treating Gum Disease?
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh looked at a number of different studies and found that people with type 2 diabetes who undergo treatment to stop gum disease have lower glucose levels than those who don’t. Unfortunately, treating gum disease in people with type 1 diabetes doesn’t seem to have the same benefits.
Why does treating gum disease help to lower blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes? Gum disease or gingivitis arises when plaque containing bacteria build up along the gum line. This causes a low grade inflammation – and the gums become red, swollen, and tender. If it’s left untreated, the bacteria in the plaque produce toxins which destroy the bone that anchors the teeth in the mouth. This could eventually lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Chronic Inflammation Raises Blood Sugar Levels
The low grade inflammation that occurs with gum disease is a problem for people with type 2 diabetes. Chronic, low grade inflammation causes chemicals to be released that alter insulin sensitivity – which makes blood glucose levels more difficult to control.This low grade inflammation that comes from untreated gum disease affects more than just blood sugar levels. Studies show that untreated gum disease increases the risk of stroke and heart attack – due to the chronic inflammation – which also affects blood vessel walls. Gingivitis can have far reaching consequences. It isn’t just a dental problem.
Diabetics Have a Higher Risk of Gum Disease
People with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to gingivitis or gum disease. When blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, it creates a “sweet” environment in the mouth that fosters the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease. Diabetics also have thickening of the walls of their blood vessels which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients the mouth and gums receive – which predisposes to gum disease. Your dentist might recommend Invisalign Turlock but there are cases where some dentist don’t actually see the underlying problem why you are experiencing gum disease. Diabetes is one of the common underlying issues.
Treating Gum Disease to Lower Glucose Levels: The Bottom Line?
People with type 2 diabetes should avoid smoking and brush after every meal of snack – and use dental floss to remove debris between teeth at least once a day. It’s important to see a dentist twice a year – regardless of whether you’re having symptoms. To lower blood sugars and stay healthy, don’t neglect the health of your gums.