As discussed in earlier posts, in order to manage your diabetes successfully it’s all about control. Unfortunately, our mouths do not escape the complications that come with diabetes. In fact, according to diabetes.co.uk ‘It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with diabetes suffer from periodontitis at some stage of their disease.’
Good diabetes control is the best protection against periodontal disease. However, to understand what you’re dealing with, it’s important to know what periodontal disease is and what to look out for if you think you’re at risk.
So what exactly is gum disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease can range from inflammation throughout you’re the gums to serious disease that can destroy or damage the gums and bone that support the teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Gum disease begins when bacteria in the plaque (the sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth on a daily basis) is not removed by daily brushing and flossing. The most common form of gum disease and the easiest to treat is gingivitis, however if the bacteria continue to multiply this will lead to more advanced stages of gum disease that may require further periodontal treatment. Unfortunately, once the gum disease is established, starting to brush and floss daily will not be sufficient to keep it at bay.
What are the stages?
Gingivitis –The most common symptom of gingivitis is the sight of blood after flossing, and very occasionally when brushing. Of course, if you don´t floss, it will be difficult to notice it, and same thing applies if you smoke (as smoke and nicotine can mask this sign). Other signs that can indicate the presence of gingivitis include occasional bad breath, redness and swelling of the gums, and a bruised or tender feeling. The bone supporting your teeth has not been damaged at this stage and it’s usually possible to completely reverse Gingivitis if you receive adequate treatment.
Periodontitis – If you allow Gingivitis to go on untreated this will lead to periodontitis. At this stage, the supporting bone and gums that hold your teeth in place are now irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form ‘pockets’ that trap bacteria below the gum line. Some signs to look for are increased redness of gums, worsening bad breath, more bleeding while brushing and flossing and occasionally you might notice your gums starting to recede or your teeth feeling sensitive to cold.
Advanced Periodontal Disease – In this final stage of gum disease, the gums and bone supporting your teeth have been further destroyed, which can cause your teeth to become wobbly, shift position slightly or loosen. This can affect your bite and, if it´s severe enough, some teeth may need to be removed if they´ve reached a point where the can no longer be saved. Periodontal abscesses can occur in this stage on top of bad breath, redness, swelling, tender or oozing gums.
Give us a call to schedule an appointment for your gum disease check-up today on 205639980. It is always easier to prevent than to treat, and the earlier we catch it, the simpler the treatment will be.