How Diabetes impacts your oral health – Periodontitis?

American Diabetes Association Alert Day says – “Count your Carbohydrates & lower your risk for Diabetes”

Take small steps every day to ensure a healthy living.

Diet plan:  Make a personalized plan 45-60 grams of carbohydrate at each meal and 15-20 grams of carbohydrate servings at each snack.  And also include two pieces of fruit one at breakfast and one at afternoon.

Be Physically Active  It is most important to manage diabetes.  It is managed by aerobic exercise and strength training.  In simple words “the more you move the more calories you burn”.  Anaerobic exercise helps keep your joints flexible and prevent stiffness.   Use pedometer when you start a walk, which helps you to keep track of your walking, distance and calories burnt.

It is important to learn about diabetes-induced oral-related diseases.  Know how periodontitis and diabetes affect each other and cause multiple problems in human body.


 What are Diabetes and Periodontal disease and how are they related?

#Periodontitis is a condition in the mouth, and diabetes is a condition in the pancreas.
A common gum disease progresses to periodontitis, and it is the harmful bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis that causes the disease. This bacteria can even cause heart problems called atherosclerosis, How?

There is a stronger relationship between diabetes and periodontal diseases than any other oral health-related conditions. Poor oral health causes many oral problems including inflammation and bleeding of gums and progresses to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus are the two major chronic diseases which have a deteriorating effect on the health and well being of millions of people globally.

Like diabetes, periodontal disease is a very common chronic disease among the US population. Among all ages, >50% of the US population has gingivitis. The occurrence of severe periodontitis increases with age. On average, approximately 13% of the population has moderate or severe periodontitis.

The condition of periodontitis is 10 % to 15 % in non-diabetic individuals. However, diabetic patients are 2.8 times more likely affected by periodontitis and 4.2 times more likely to have a bone loss than non-diabetic patients.

Diabetic patients with severe periodontitis have poor glycemic control than non-diabetic patients. However, improving glycemic control has been confirmed to reduce the severity of periodontal disease.

Diabetes is a condition which exists in two ways:

1. When pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, it is Type (I) diabetes; (otherwise called as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus).

2. If the body cannot use adequate insulin, it is Type (II) diabetes; (otherwise called as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)

How does diabetes affect your oral health?

Individuals with Type (I) and Type (II) diabetes are at higher risk of developing oral diseases and dental problems because diabetes thickens the blood vessels and stops the passage of vital nutrients flowing towards the gums, and gets easily affected by harmful bacteria.

What are harmful bacteria and what does it do to your teeth?

Porphyromonas gingivalis is the harmful bacteria which form a layer of film in a couple of minutes after brushing. Once the bacteria stick to the teeth, it binds to other bacteria in your mouth. In 24 hours, it reacts with leftover food particles in the mouth and becomes a hard plaque material called tartar.

How do oral related diseases affect diabetic individual vs. non-diabetic person?

The frequency and severity of periodontitis are more in diabetic and cardiac patients than non-diabetic individuals.

A periodontitis chart between Diabetic and Non-diabetic individuals will help you to understand better about the conditions.

  Plaque or tartar Causes gum disease, if left untreated it progresses much more rapidly and they experience severe cases of periodontal problems. Causes gum disease. If left untreated it progresses to early stages of periodontal disease.
 Periodontal problems Diabetes can increase the risk of periodontal disease.  Also, it causes tooth loss, oral candidiasis, dental caries in the subsequent tooth, and dry mouth. Generalized periodontal problems may not be severe, but they cause dental caries and in advanced stages, it may cause tooth loss.
Other major related problems with periodontitis Diabetic individuals with periodontal disease can increase the risk of heart and kidney problems. Periodontal bacteria can enter the body’s circulatory system through leaky blood vessels – can cause numerous other infections and illnesses to the body.
Periodontal infection and glycemic control If periodontitis left untreated, it will cause poor glycemic control and other induced diabetes-related complications, like atherosclerosis in blood vessels or myocardial infarction. Severe periodontitis is not a local issue for non-diabetic patients because the blood sugar levels can deteriorate even further without diabetes so there is a risk of developing a condition called insulin resistance.

There is compelling evidence showing that periodontal inflammation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease which is in turn related to chronic diabetes. In the case of diabetes, the successful treatment of periodontitis will, therefore, contribute to improved health not only in the oral cavity but throughout the body.

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