One in ten Americans, nearly 37.5 million people, have diabetes. Frighteningly, one in five of these cases is in people unaware they are suffering from the condition. From both a systemic and oral health perspective, this is very problematic.
The American Diabetes Association reports that 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year, and 90 to 95 percent are type 2. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in adulthood and may go unnoticed for quite some time. Unfortunately, the longer the issue remains undiagnosed and untreated, the more severe its complications can become.
At The Smile Centre, our experienced dentists and highly-trained staff can often spot signs of diabetic oral health problems even in individuals who have not been diagnosed. This allows us to treat these oral health concerns and may even help you determine if seeing your primary care provider for a blood panel might be necessary.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and an optimal time to consider your risks and seek treatment for this common disease.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
Individuals with diabetes are at increased risk for periodontal disease. In its earliest stages, this issue may be noticeable due to:
- Gums that bleed when teeth are brushed
- Increased redness of the gums
- Swelling of the gingival tissue
As the problem progresses, teeth may shift or become loose, gum tissue may pull away from tooth roots, and issues such as chronic halitosis may become present.
Periodontal disease can result in tooth loss. It may also increase risks for several serious and deadly disorders such as heart attack and stroke, lung and colorectal cancers, kidney disease, and bone loss. These issues are exacerbated in individuals with diabetes, making it vital that peak oral health be maintained at all times.
We are here to help you do just that.
Preventing and Treating Periodontal Disease
Preventing periodontal disease begins at home. If you have diabetes, it is essential to floss at least once a day and brush your teeth both morning and night. Brushing with greater frequency, such as after every meal, is even better.
In addition to at-home efforts, visiting our office every six months for cleanings and examinations is very important for people with diabetes. These visits allow us to detect periodontal disease in its earliest stages and provide swift and effective treatment that can help prevent its spread.
If it has been longer than six months since your last visit or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, call our Sarasota office at 941-351-4468 to schedule an appointment right away.