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Is Your Diabetes Making You Gnash Your Teeth In Anguish?

Feb 7, 2008
Diabetes is a disease which is as complex in its origins as it is in the complications it brings about. From your heart, to your kidneys, your eyes and even your nervous system there's barely a part of your body diabetes leaves untouched if mismanaged. To add to this already bludgeoning string of ailments is periodontal disease. As the name suggests, periodontal literally translates into 'around your teeth' and is a chronic bacterial infection that plagues your gums and the bone which supports your teeth. How ever, this ailment is as two-toned as diabetes, not just resulting as an outcome of the disease, but also interfering in the process of diabetes management on the whole. Thus, even as the hapless diabetic grapples with periodontal disease, this infection is further wrecking his management program, making it even harder for him to keep his condition in control.

Periodontal disease first takes root when bacteria begin to develop in the plaque around your teeth. This causes your gum to become inflamed, and can occur in a single tooth, or spread all over your jaw. Diabetics are common prey for periodontal disease as the high glucose levels in their bloodstream allows the bacteria nourishment to feed on. Also, the poor blood circulation most diabetics suffer from further compounds the problem, as the teeth when starved of oxygen and nourishment are quick to contract disease.

Like most other forms of infection, periodontal disease has distinct phases of development, developing into the more mature phases quickly and surreptitiously when given the opportunity to do so. The first stage, where the bacterial infection affects the gums and aggravates them is known as Gingivitis. This phase is relatively easy to overcome and can be dealt with by simply brushing and flossing everyday while also getting your teeth regularly cleaned by your dentist. On the other hand, if these basic measures are not followed, the disease soon proceeds to its next phase, which is a far more difficult one to correct.

At the second phase, the plaque on your teeth grows harder and denser and accumulates under your gums, pulling them away from your teeth. This creates gaps, or pockets of infection that may even destroy the bone anchoring your teeth, leading to tooth loss. The progression from Gingivitis to periodontitis is barely imperceptible and waiting for pain and loose teeth will mean that you have already let this disease advance to its more mature phase. And so, if you do find that your inflammation and bleeding do not subside after meticulous cleaning, it is advisable you visit a periodontist for specialized treatment.

Treating periodontitis involves loosening the plaque and infected tissue off your teeth and gums, so that your healthy gum tissue can re-attach itself to your teeth. This treatment is only successful if you follow it up with regular brushing or flossing, else your periodontist will need to surgically operate your gums and thus try to rid your teeth of the infection. This process, though painful and tedious plays a very critical role in saving your teeth, without which, the only recourse available to you is to extract the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading to other, unaffected teeth.

Diabetics need to go the extra mile with discussing their diabetes treatment and control with the dentist, as periodontal treatment may require insulin and meal schedule adjustments. A wiser option would be to have your physician confer with your dentist before treatment is meted out, so that any unforeseen complications do not arise from contradictory patterns of treatment. If your diabetes is poorly controlled and your glucose levels wayward, your dentist may even recommend that you put off your treatment until your diabetes is in better shape, as this could pose a significant impediment in both the treatment of your periodontal disease and recovery.

The healing process that follows periodontal treatment may be elongated and delayed in case of diabetics on account of the poor blood circulation. Poor diabetes management may make the process even more tedious, thus making it even more important that you stick to your oral hygiene regime to avoid any complications from the gingivitis phase. Diabetes can be a dangerous foe to harbor if you don't pay attention to keeping your condition under your control however, terrific diabetes management also means that you may never have to face these untoward consequences. If you still haven't taken stringent measures to curb your diabetes, it's time to do that right now! Take control of your diabetes today and tomorrow will be a brighter and a much healthier day!
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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