It is well documented that people who suffer from diabetes are more susceptible to developing infections than non-diabetes sufferers. It is not widely known that periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes; particularly when the diabetes is not under proper control.
Reasons for the Connection
Experts suggest the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease can worsen both conditions if either condition is not properly controlled.
Diagnosis and Treatment
It is of paramount importance for people suffering from any type of diabetes to see the dentist at least twice yearly for checkups and professional cleanings. Studies have shown that simple non-surgical periodontal treatments can lower the HbA1c (hemoglobin molecule blood test) count by as much as 20% in a six month period.
The periodontist will use medical history, family history and dental X-rays to assess the risk factors for periodontal disease and determine the exact condition of the gums, teeth and underlying jawbone. If necessary the dentist will work in conjunction with other doctors to ensure that both the diabetes and the gum disease are being managed and controlled as effectively as possible.
If you have questions or concerns about diabetes or periodontal disease, please ask your dentist.