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Diabetes has become a national epidemic with over 29 million American citizens suffering from the disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another 86 million have prediabetes, meaning their blood sugar is higher than normal. Many people do not realize that diabetes is very closely linked to your oral health and should take the time to learn about this connection.

Stated simply, a person with diabetes has a vastly increased risk for periodontitis (gum disease). Partly, this is due to the fact that the diabetic has a compromised immune system and decreased ability to fight bacteria. When the body’s blood-sugar levels are out of control, infection is more apt to take over the system. And, when bacteria in the mouth flourishes because of high sugar, tooth decay and gum disease is more likely.

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria feeds on sugar. Your gums begin to recede from the teeth when this condition becomes serious. Pockets between the teeth and gum tissues develop and grow deeper allowing infection to grow and spread. Eventually, the bone and tissues that anchor your teeth in place are destroyed and your teeth will fall out. To avoid this unhappy circumstance, treatment needs to be swift. If your gums bleed frequently, look swollen, or your teeth look longer, heed the warning signs and come see us immediately for evaluation. If you have diabetes, get your blood glucose numbers under control.

To talk more about ways to improve your oral health, call Dr. Raymond R. Niles and our helpful team at Niles Dental. Phone: 703.494.4101, or come by our office in Woodbridge, Virginia.