During the oral health check up, we will do a careful examination to rule out the presence of the most common oral health problems affecting people with diabetes:
What are periodontal diseases?
Periodontal (gum) diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis, which are chronic bacterial infections that affect the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. They begin with the bacteria in the plaque (the sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth on a daily basis), which causes the gums to become red and swollen and to bleed easily.
Gingivitis vs Periodontitis
Gingivitis is the milder form of the disease and is often related to poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral home plaque removal and professional treatment. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.
When this happens, dental plaque spreads and grows between the gum and the tooth. This produces poisons, or toxins that cause the gums to separate from the teeth and form pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums). These pockets deepen and eventually the bone holding the tooth in the jaw is destroyed. Teeth then become loose and may have to be removed. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
What are the common signs of periodontal disease?
Periodontal diseases are often painless and you may not be aware you have them. On the other hand, many people have signs or symptoms of periodontal disease that include:
- bleeding of the gums when brushing or cleaning in between the teeth
- gums pulling away from the teeth making the teeth appear longer
- tender, red or swollen gums
- loose or separating teeth
- persistent bad breath
- change in bite
- change in the fit of partial dentures
Risk factors which increase the likelihood of getting periodontal disease include:
- diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- smoking cigarettes or cigars
- being overweight
- losing bone (becoming osteoporotic)
- not having enough calcium in the diet
- genetic factors