Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gum Disease in Diabetics

Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which, in turn, can lead to blood sugar and diabetic complications.People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes. Those people who don’t control their diabetes are especially at risk.

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.

Studies indicate that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation. However, hormone replacement therapy may offer some protection.There are also researches that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque build up, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries.Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.It appears that periodontal disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor.Bacteria in your mouth can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with gum disease.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.

* Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
* Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
* Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
* Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Regular treatment is a must, as well as the change in regime to our oral hygiene, and it is only through these precautions that we can expect to fight the progress of any gum disease. Root planning is a method of neutralising deeply impregnated bacteria at the root of the tooth. To treat this your dentist will set out a plan to treat each tooth separately, and it can cause discomfort for a few days after the treatment has been completed. Remember that the treatment doesn’t stop when you leave the dental surgery; it is you who needs to make sure that you have a regular routine of brushing, flossing and mouth-washing to keep the disease at a slow rate. Drinking water throughout the day will also help to neutralise acid build up.Periodontists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and can help you keep your teeth for life!


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Nickolas said...

Diabetes and smoking are the biggest risk factors for gum disease development, increased severity, and the speed at which it occurs. The number one systemic condition that increases susceptibility to periodontal disease is diabetes. Multiple risk factors do not increase the risk in an additive manner, but rather in an exponential manner. A patient with three risk factors — such as high stress level, poor oral hygiene, and faulty dental work — is not three times more likely to develop gum disease than a patient without these risk factors he or she is approximately 27 times more likely to develop gum disease or have it worsen rapidly. San Luis Obispo Dental Office

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