The latest statistics show that three million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes, and this equates to 4.6% of the population. There is no doubt that it is a serious condition that can affect the whole body. It is also well-known for its negative impact on oral health, and a recent US study has found that the rate of tooth loss is greater in people with diabetes. The results of the study showed that diabetics were twice as likely to lose all of their teeth compared to those without the condition. Some 28% of diabetics had lost all their teeth compared to 14% of people without diabetes.
Tooth loss can be a real problem for older people, and is frequently down to long-term gum disease and untreated tooth decay. These conditions can affect anyone, but the study found that diabetics who had lost some of their teeth had lost an average of ten, compared to non-diabetics who had lost an average of seven. So what can you do if you have diabetes? Does it automatically mean you will go on to lose all your teeth?
Ask Leeds City Dentalcare for Help and Advice
Living with diabetes does mean you need to take more care with your dental health, and Dr David Brown, or any of the dental staff at Leeds City Dentalcare will be more than willing to help and to offer advice on the best way to do this based on your personal situation and your current level of dental health.
Gum disease can be a particular problem, but preventative dental care can do a lot to help. You may need to come and see us more often for check-ups, and we may well recommend you visit the hygienist more frequently for a scale and polish. These are great preventative measures that will enable us to detect any sings of gum disease or tooth decay early on, when treatment can be far more effective and less invasive. If we do see any signs that you may be developing gum disease then we can act quickly to hopefully cure it or at least hold in in check.
Why is it Important to Avoid Gum Disease
Gum disease is the main reason teeth are lost, so avoiding this condition is important for everyone, but particularly for diabetics. There has been a lot of research into the connection between the two diseases, and although it isn’t fully understood just yet, it is thought to be due to the fact that both are inflammatory conditions.
Gum disease in Leeds creates inflammation in the gum tissues, which in turn causes the gums to begin bleeding, something that allows bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream the bacteria are able to create new sites of inflammation in the blood vessels that it is thought makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.
Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to higher levels of glucose in the saliva, which in turn provides food for the bacteria present in the mouth, allowing them to thrive and increasing the risk of infection and inflammation in the gum tissues. In addition diabetics are less able to heal, so it can be more difficult to treat gum disease effectively.
It is not really known if having gum disease increases the risk of diabetes, or vice versa, but it is clear that having good dental health is important for everyone, but especially for diabetics. If you are diabetic, or are at risk of developing diabetes then it is worth talking to dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare so we can put an appropriate treatment plan in place.