Diabetes is a complex medical condition affecting millions of people. Anyone diagnosed with diabetes must be careful about what they eat and manage their blood sugar levels very carefully. Diabetes also carries a heightened risk of developing additional medical conditions, including increased vulnerability to gum disease. If you or someone you know has diabetes, it’s important to understand the relationship between dental health and diabetes.
Diabetes and the Risk of Gum Disease
One of the most common medical conditions affecting those with diabetes is gum disease. About 22% of people with diabetes experience some type of periodontal disease, which most commonly results from poor blood sugar control. Diabetes can cause saliva production problems, dry out the mouth and gums, and delay the healing of minor wounds inside of the mouth. All these factors, in turn, increase the risk of developing gum disease.
Reducing Your Risk of Gum Disease With Diabetes
It’s vital to manage your blood sugar carefully when you have diabetes. Doing so will reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, taking prescribed diabetes medications, and practicing good daily oral hygiene are some of the best preventative steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
It is also wise for diabetics to avoid smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Both of these habits can increase the risk of gum disease already imposed by having diabetes. People with diabetes should also schedule regular checkups with their dentists to track the health of their teeth and gums over time. If you have specific questions about steps you can take to limit your risk of gum disease, talk to your dentist about the unique complications your diabetes presents.
Seeking Emergency Care for Diabetes and Gum Disease
Anyone with diabetes who experiences a critical event such as hypoglycemic shock needs immediate medical attention from an emergency medical team. However, gum disease caused by diabetes can lead to acute dental issues that may require specialized treatment from an experienced dentist.
Your regular dentist may not offer emergency treatment hours or may be booked for several weeks before they can see you. In this case, the Emergency Dental Service can help you find a local emergency dentist to provide the gum treatment and advice you need to overcome your symptoms safely. If you need emergency dental care right away, contact Emergency Dental Service online or call us at 1-888-350-1340. Our team will help you locate an emergency dentist near you who can accommodate complications posed by diabetes.