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The Connection Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

November is Diabetes Awareness Month to bring attention to the disease and the millions of people affected by it. We’d like to join this effort from the perspective of your oral health.

Like other diseases linked to periodontitis, diabetes is both a cause and effect of gum disease. This bi-directional relationship presents a tricky approach to the treatment options available to those patients suffering from both. However, hope is not lost. There are things you can do to prevent them, and modern advancements in periodontal care have made it much easier to treat severe cases of gum disease more effectively, and with less pain.

As DentistryIQ.com describes:

“Long-established evidence suggests diabetes predisposes to periodontal disease, (1) and periodontal disease adversely affects diabetes outcomes. (2) A study by Chapple and associates (3) found consistent evidence that severe periodontitis adversely affects glycemic control in diabetic patients and causes glycemia in nondiabetic patients. The study concluded that diabetes and periodontitis are complex chronic diseases with established bidirectional relationships.”

How Can I Prevent Diabetes?

Diabetes and Gum Disease Queens NYThere are many different things you can do in the name of diabetes prevention. First and foremost, be active and exercise more. Exercise helps you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and boost your sensitivity to insulin, a key hormone (secreted by the pancreas) to regulate blood sugar. Secondly, eat more fiber. Fiber helps to signal to the brain that you are full so that you aren’t overeating frequently, which is bad for blood sugar regulation. This will also help to curb weight gain. Lastly, you should control your weight loss. Diet and exercise are great, and will help reduce your risk of diabetes, sure, but it needs to be done carefully. Aerobic exercise and resistance training have shown to be the most effective exercise routines (especially in tandem) for diabetes prevention. As far as dieting is concerned, you should stay away from fad diets, and simply make healthier choices when eating. These days, there’s a new diet every week it seems like, and they almost always lead to a “rubber band effect” type of weight loss/gain. It’s unhealthy to always be gaining and losing weight, and fad diets, as a result, can play a major role in the progression of diabetes.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

When it comes to preventing gum disease, the solution is somewhat simpler than with diabetes. Habitual things such as brushing twice a day, or after every meal, will greatly reduce your risk. Flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and regular teeth cleanings are also good ways to prevent gum disease. If periodontitis does occur, you should get it treated right away. Delaying treatment of gum disease is unwise because it tends to get much worse with time. In advanced cases, gum tissue can begin to necrotize, and bone material can disintegrate. Thankfully there is a treatment out there to fight periodontitis safely and effectively.

LANAP® Laser Gum Disease Treatment

Traditional surgery for gum disease will often include the use of a scalpel and sutures. It goes without saying this can be an unpleasant experience for the patient. LANAP® laser treatments have minimal invasiveness, and report a lower rate of recession in most patients. The lasers employed in LANAP® treatments are capable of detecting the difference between diseased and healthy tissue. Because of this technological advantage, there is less collateral damage when excising diseased tissue caused by periodontitis. A laser is more accurate than the hand of even the most skilled surgeons, and can remove virtually all of the diseased tissue and bacteria without cutting into healthy regions of your gums, making for a much more pain-free experience for the patient.

Gum Disease Treatment for Diabetics in Forest Hills, NY

If you notice signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, such as red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with our office in Queens, NY immediately, as these may be early indicators of advanced gum disease. With our advanced, laser gum disease therapy treatments, we are able to non-invasively target and remove harmful bacteria, while stimulating healthy, beneficial growth of tissue and bone.

1. Kıran M, Arpak N, Ünsal E, Erdoğan MF. The effect of improved periodontal health on metabolic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Clin Periodontol. 2005;32(3):266–272.
2. Borgnakke WS, Ylöstalo PV, Taylor GW, Genco RJ. Effect of periodontal disease on diabetes: Systemic review of epidemiologic observational evidence. J Periodontol. 2013;84(4 Suppl):S135–S152.
3. Chapple ILC, Genco R. Working group 2 of the joint EFP/AAP workshop. Diabetes and periodontal diseases: Consensus report of the Joint EFP/AAP Workshop on Periodontitis and Systemic Diseases. J Periodontol. 2013;84(4 Suppl):S106–S112.

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