825 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

diabetes and mouth

Diabetes and your Mouth – What your Dentist wants you to Know

Lake Forest and Lake Bluff IL

What do diabetes and gum disease have in common? Both are chronic diseases with dire potential consequences on your health and wellness. Both ailments also run rampant in the American population. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million people in the United States have some form of diabetes. Meanwhile, periodontal disease affects nearly half of Americans over the age of 30. You might be surprised to know that poor oral health can increase your risk of diabetes. Read on to learn more about this link and how it could impact your health.

The facts on diabetes

There are two kinds of diabetes: Type 1, which is auto-immune and can appear in early childhood, and Type 2, which occurs when a person experiences reduced insulin effectiveness over time. Both types of diabetes stem from the pancreas, which produces insulin, either not functioning as it should or producing ineffective insulin. Insulin plays a vital role in the body; it sends sugar, or glucose, to cells that use it for energy. People with diabetes experience issues with this insulin process.

How do diabetes and dental care connect?

First off, if you’re eating and drinking a diet high in sugars, this can overtax the pancreas and eventually lead it to stop functioning as it should, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Likewise, if you’re not limiting your sugar consumption, this can elevate your risk of tooth decay as well as gum disease.

Second, there is already an established link between diabetes and gum disease. Having one of these conditions increases your likelihood of developing the other, and many people may have both ailments and not realize it. People with diabetes face a higher risk of gum disease because they are slower to heal, allowing more time for inflamed gum tissue to linger and become a chronic problem.

The inflammation from gum disease also increases the number of cytokines, which the body uses to initiate or direct your inflammatory response. The elevated number of cytokines can spill over into the vascular system, potentially increasing inflammation throughout the body, making insulin less effective, and worsening the potential diabetic condition.

How can you lower your risk of diabetes and gum disease?

Your risk of Type 2 diabetes is influenced by your genetics and your lifestyle choices. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet also can lower your risk of gum disease, as can avoiding tobacco use in any form and being sure to see your Lake Forest dentist every six months for a check-up that includes a cleaning and an examination of your teeth and mouth.

Family Dentists in Lake Forest

At Lake Forest Smiles, we believe preventive care is crucial, as it’s always better to prevent a serious condition from developing rather than wait for it to manifest into a problem that requires treatment. That said, if you do develop gum disease, we offer a comprehensive program of periodontal treatment that includes repetitive therapy, laser therapy, Arestin, and Perio Protect. To find out more about our methods of treating gum disease or our other services, call the office of Lake Forest Smiles today at (847) 234-4800 if you’re located in the areas of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire, Illinois.

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