November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and we’d like to take some time to talk about how that affects our dental patients. Yes, you read that correctly. There are very strong ties between oral health and overall health, especially for patients who live with diabetes.

Today, we want to take some time an unpack these connections so that you have a better idea of exactly how the health of your teeth can affect the health of your body, and vice versa! It is said that the eyes are the doorway to the soul, but your mouth is the doorway to the rest of your body. You can tell a lot about someone’s overall health simply by examining their teeth.

More specifically, let’s look at diabetes and gum disease.

Understand the Connection Between Oral and Overall Health

A diabetes diagnosis is no longer considered the death sentence it once was. A couple of hundred years ago, no one really knew how to treat diabetes. As a result, the patient would die a slow and miserable death. We can see that happening today in patients who choose to not treat their condition appropriately.

For the purposes of this blog, we want to focus primarily on type 2 diabetes. This typically results later in life and is most often caused by decades of poor dietary and exercise decisions. However, there are also links to gum disease.

When a patient has diabetes, their ability to fight bacterial infection diminishes. In other words, they are more likely to develop infections. Gum disease affects more than half of all adults in America, so it is very probable that a person with diabetes will contract a gum disease infection. The worry then becomes how the gum disease will affect their diabetes.

You see, the bacteria that cause gum disease can wreak havoc on the rest of your body as well. Research shows that this bacteria can lead to some cancers, heart disease, and yes, trouble controlling diabetes. The bacteria affects the way your body handles blood sugar, which makes it very difficult for a diabetic patient to control their blood glucose levels. If left untreated, this situation can cause the rapid progression of the effects of diabetes on the body.

On one hand, diabetes will make it more likely that you develop gum disease. On the other hand, gum disease will make controlling diabetes more difficult. The cycle is difficult to break, but we have solutions at Highland Advanced Dental Care.

Ask us about Perio Protect® gum disease treatment. This top-of-the-line treatment options is great for most patients. We use a special gel which releases medication directly into your gums! You simply apply the medication in a tray once per day. In no time, the infection will be gone.

We also offer traditional scaling and root planing. And if gum disease has caused your gums to recede, you might benefit from Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, which is a quick and comfortable way to repair gums damaged by infection.

Call our office today at 248-329-3552 to learn more. Set up an appointment, and get your health back under control!