Diabetes and Gum Disease

The link between diabetes and gum disease is staggering. In the United States, 26 million people have diabetes, 95% of these people have gingivitis (precursor to gum disease) or gum disease and 76 million more are pre-diabetic.  These statistics have created the demand for dentists to “brush up” on the latest in gum disease therapies. To date, there are only a select number of dentists that offer advanced treatment for gum disease. For example, Dr. Mark Sweeney offers bio film treatment to control unhealthy bacterium in the mouth that is linked to gum disease.

In addition, dentists are in a good position to pre-screen for diabetes by identifying risk factors, such as, family history, obesity risk factors, medical condition risk factors, such as, hypertension and ethnicity risk factors, such as, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Latinos and Hispanics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if the population of people with diabetes continues to grow at a steady rate, one out of every three people will have diabetes, not to mention the number who will then also have gum disease, the leading cause for tooth loss. In addition, dental treatment should not be avoided according to research which demonstrated people who have not been treated for gum disease are two times more likely to develop diabetes.

People with diabetes also require special care when going for dental procedures because wound healing may be affected if proper precautions are not taken.  Diabetic patients may also be more likely to develop hypoglycemia, particularly if they require insulin.  For these reasons, patients should inform their dentists about any medical condition that have so that the dentist can take proper precautions to reduce the risks during dental treatment.  Furthermore, regular dental treatment prevents and reduces infection and inflammation, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. So, regular dental treatment is very important for your oral and physical health.

If you are interested in dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.