Understanding the Connection Between Diabetes and Gum Disease
Medical researchers have been studying the connection between diabetes and gum disease for years, even though many men and women who suffer from these conditions have no idea about the link between them. According to Dr. Craig Rubinoff of Rancho Bernardo Periodontics in San Diego, gum disease is a serious condition that needs to be treated by a dental professional.
Unfortunately, research has shown that children and adults who suffer from diabetes could be at a higher risk for gum disease. Dr. Rubinoff explains that adults with diabetes tend to have compromised healing responses, as well as compromised immune systems. If a person who suffers from diabetes gets an infection in his body, it is almost always going to take that person longer to get better than someone without diabetes. Dr. Rubinoff says that it can also take people with diabetes longer to heal from wounds and cuts.
At its core, periodontal disease is just another type of chronic infection. Although diabetes sufferers can recover from periodontal disease, it will usually take them longer to do so than it would for an otherwise healthy individual. The San Diego gum disease expert explains that the infection makes it harder for the insulin to do its work, and diabetes sufferers will end up requiring more insulin. As a result, the condition becomes a vicious circle in which the gum disease upsets the sugar metabolism, which then affects insulin levels.
Dr. Rubinoff says he recently worked with a patient in his 70s who had diabetes. This patient had a sugar level that was very high, and he was having a difficult time keeping it stabilized. Sadly, this patient also had signs of gum disease. Thankfully, his condition was diagnosed early and, as a result, Dr. Rubinoff was able to help the San Diego patient get his gum disease under control.
As a dental professional who specializes in treating patients with gum disease in San Diego, Dr. Rubinoff recommends that all diabetes sufferers make sure to visit their dentists at least once every six months, if not more frequently. Ideally, physicians should be referring diabetes patients to periodontists for proper diagnoses and treatments.
Medical researchers have found the link between gum disease and diabetes, but it is up to patients themselves – as well as their dental providers – to take the necessary steps to avoid suffering from these painful conditions. With routine care and excellent at-home hygiene, Dr. Rubinoff says people with diabetes can feel confident that they are doing everything possible to avoid gum disease.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.