Your gum health has a direct relationship with your general health, particularly heart health. 

But your dentist in Calgary NE, Dr. Jay Patel, wants you to know that the impact can go beyond heart health. If you’re diabetic and you have bleeding gums, you can be at risk for blood sugar issues and dental complications. 

How Diabetes Can Affect the Health of Your Teeth and Gums

The link between diabetes and oral health issues is blood sugar. If your blood sugar is out of control, you’ll have issues throughout your body, including your mouth. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, high blood sugar levels can adversely impact your white blood cells (WBCs), which protect the body from bad bacteria. With low WBCs, your body has a harder time fighting infections. If you get a mouth sore, for instance, it can take longer to heal. 

Researchers have also found that diabetes can cause at least three additional adverse dental reactions. 

  • Dry Mouth: Uncontrolled diabetes can slow saliva flow, resulting in a dry mouth. Saliva acts as a barrier, protecting the teeth from acids that cause decay. Without that barrier, you’re at a higher risk of decay.
  • Thrush and Burning Mouth Syndrome: Diabetic patients–particularly those who wear dentures–can develop thrush, a fungal infection, due to high glucose levels. One of the side effects of thrush is burning mouth and tongue.
  • Gum Disease: This is the one you want to pay extra attention to because if you have diabetes and gum disease, you can end up with a whole slew of serious health conditions. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. Since your WBC count can be low if your diabetes isn’t under control, it’s easier to develop gum disease. Left untreated, you can lose teeth and end up with heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, erectile dysfunction, and certain cancers. 

Elevating Your Health with Better Oral Health

Though bleeding gums aren’t necessarily a diabetes symptom, they are a symptom of gum disease. If you’re a diabetic and your gums bleed when you brush and floss, see Dr. Jay right away. The Skypointe Dental team can be your first line of defense. 

Patel Family Dentist Calgary

Dr. Jay Patel and his family

Regular dental exams and cleanings can help you prevent disease progression and, in some cases, prevent it entirely. And if issues do develop, your dentist can catch them early, which makes treatment faster, easier, and more affordable. 

In addition to regular dental visits, here are some other recommendations.

Practice Good Home Care

Brush twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush. Floss at least once each day, using the c-shaped flossing technique or a WaterPik if possible. 

Control Your Blood Sugar with a Healthy Diet

Reduce processed foods, particularly simple carbohydrates, like cakes, cookies, chips, and sodas. Eat high-quality, low-fat meats. Drink lots of water. Focus on getting as many nutrients as possible with fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. 

Keep Moving

Exercise will help keep your blood pressure low, your heart healthy, and keep your weight regulated. 

Reduce Stress

Stress can stimulate the production of glucose, raise cortisol levels, and impact how well insulin works in your body. Take steps to reduce stress

  • Get a massage
  • Practice mediation and mindfulness
  • Get plenty of stress each night
  • Don’t take work home with you
  • Exercise
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Journal
  • Talk to a counselor or coach

Calgary NE Dentist: Elevated Family Dentistry

If you have diabetes, your health is always at the forefront of your mind. 

Thankfully, though, there are steps you can take to keep yourself healthy. Monitor your blood sugar regularly, eat healthy goods, get plenty of rest, and exercise often. 

And don’t forget to practice good home care and see your NE Calgary dentist, Dr. Jay Patel, who is committed to elevating family dentistry and keeping patients like you happy and healthy. 

Do you have bleeding gums and diabetes? Contact our team today to schedule an evaluation. We’ll help you achieve optimal oral health!