Blog

2016
Dec-15
Oral Health; a neglected part of diabetes management
By Dr. Tom Babu, Consultant Periodontist (Silverline Hospital)| 0 Comments

Gum disease (Periodontitis and Gingivitis) is a common but ignored complication of diabetes. If left untreated, it can result in loss of teeth ultimately making people edentulous. Studies done on diabetic patients have suggested a strong bidirectional adverse interrelationship between diabetes mellitus and gum diseases. This is so because of the increased blood sugar concentration in the saliva which makes fertile environment for bacterial growth. These bacteria that colonise the oral cavity cause micro-abscesses in the gums giving rise to gum disease. It is also a case that the immunity of diabetic patients are low therefore facilitating these infections in the gums. The relationship is two way process since poor blood sugar control leads to gum problems and gum problems worsen blood sugar. Gum problems manifest as bleeding, distaste in the mouth and foul smelling breath. Once the patient start loosing teeth, they are unable to chew food properly which can by itself alter the food habits in diabetic patients leading to rise in blood sugar levels. It is very important for all people with diabetes to visit a dentist regularly, so that any gum problems can be detected and treated before they become too severe. Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are particularly important in people with diabetes apart from diabetes treatment.

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