WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE DIAGNOSED AND TREATED?
Periodontal or gum disease is a serious gum infection that can lead to tooth loss and might prevent you from achieving the nutritional goals set by your doctor. If not detected by a dentist or hygienist or if left untreated, periodontal disease can cause an infection that destroys the bone supporting your teeth. As the gum disease progresses, symptoms might include tooth loosening or shifting, bad breath, or bleeding gums. Periodontal disease can worsen blood glucose control and vice versa. If your blood glucose is high or fluctuates, you are at risk of developing severe periodontal disease.
- Red and swollen gums
- Gums that bleed are not healthy – even if your gums bleed only when you brush too hard, ANY sign of bleeding is not normal
- White or yellow pus around gums
- Teeth that are longer and gums that have pulled away from teeth
Please answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions to determine your risk of periodontal disease:
- Have you ever noticed blood (red) on your toothbrush, on your food, or in your saliva?
- Do you have any loose teeth or teeth that have shifted on their own?
- Have you ever been told you had gum disease or had a tooth pulled because of gum disease?
- Do you use any tobacco products?
- Has it been over two years since you last saw a dentist?
- Is your hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.0?
One or more responses of “yes” warrants a dental examination for periodontal disease. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, periodontal disease is preventable. So visit your Vancouver area general or cosmetic dentist and dental hygienist regularly to help prevent periodontal disease!
What is the connection between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease?
Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, the gums are among the tissues most likely to be affected. Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place.
Periodontal disease is often linked to the control of diabetes. For example, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than persons who have good control of their diabetes. It is possible to have periodontal disease and not have all of the warning signs. If you notice any of the warning signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately.
Because of lowered resistance and a longer healing process, periodontal diseases often appear to be more frequent and more severe among persons with diabetes. That’s why good maintenance of blood sugar levels, a well-balanced diet that meets your needs, good oral care at home, regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. At our Vancouver practice we enjoy an excellent referral relationship with the area’s top periodontists should specialized treatment be warranted.