Gum disease (periodontal disease)

Gum disease is more common if you have type 1 diabetes. This can happen when there is more plaque accumulation and the defences can't fight against the bacteria due to the poor blood circulation in the gums

As a result of gum disease, the bone and gums that hold the teeth in place can become weaker and occasionally lead to tooth loss. Treatment for gum disease is based on the removal of the plaque below the gums to stop the infection from damaging the gums and bone any further.

Spotting signs of gum disease

Unfortunately gum disease can be difficult to spot as it rarely hurts. However the signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when cleaning in between your teeth, tender and puffy gums, occasionally bad taste or breath even after brushing your teeth and gum recession, which can make your teeth look longer and have bigger gaps in between your teeth. Make sure you have regular dental and gum check-ups and speak to your dentist if you notice any changes in your gums.

Reducing the risk of gum disease

As well as good management of your type 1 diabetes, to keep your blood glucose levels within the optimal range, you should also maintain good oral hygiene. Having a thorough oral hygiene, including cleaning in between your teeth and visiting a professional hygienist can help you prevent gum disease from occurring.

Other oral health complications

Apart from gum disease, type 1 diabetes can also increase the chances of decay when we have less saliva to protect the teeth, mouth ulcers that can take a long time to heal and fungal infections due to changes in the flora of our mouth. Thorough oral hygiene and routine dental and hygiene visits can help you pick these problems early and stop them from getting worse.

For more information, go to diabetesdentalcare.co.uk