Periodontal Disease & Diabetes
The Mouth and Body Connection
Summary of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (commonly known as periodontitis, gum disease or jawbone disease) is a chronic condition and without proper professional treatment the result is jawbone loss and tooth loss. It is the most common cause of tooth loss. A bacterial infection occurs from bacteria that colonize above and below the gum line and causes gum pockets. This bacteria enters your bloodstream and travels throughout your bloodstream and travels throughout the body. Intra-orally the infection continues and the gum pocket becomes more inflamed and deeper causing the gum tissue to detach from the root of the tooth and infect the underlying jawbone. At Michael Drone Dentistry & Prosthodontics a periodontal evaluation is performed and Dr. Drone will develop a periodontal therapy program specific for you.
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Dr. Drone is a native of Wheatfield, IN and has been practicing dentistry since 2003 and opened his private practice in Valparaiso, IN in 2007. Dr. Drone earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Indiana University School of Dentistry and earned his advanced specialty degrees in Prosthodontics and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from Indiana University School of Dentistry and Medicine.
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The Mouth Body Connection and Periodontal Disease
Research has proven that there is a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and osteoporosis. Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation above and below gum-line, the presence of disease-causing bacteria, bleeding of gum tissue when brushing or flossing, gum pockets and bone loss. The bacterial infection in the mouth can spread throughout the body and lead to several problematic health issues. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene, preventing periodontal disease or reducing the progression of periodontal disease through dental treatments will have benefits beyond preventing gum disease and bone loss. It can prevent you from the chance of developing another serious health conditions.
Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
Studies have shown the correlation between periodontal disease and diabetes and can worsen if either condition is not properly controlled. Diabetes is a serious and incurable disease that is characterized by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report there are an estimated 30 million people with diabetes which is about 9.5% of the US population. There are two types of diabetes, Type I and Type II.
- Type I Diabetes: Individuals with Type I diabetes cannot produce insulin. The body breaks down sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar known as glucose and is used for energy. Insulin is a hormone that your body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into your cells of the body.
- Type II Diabetes: Individuals with Type II diabetes have too much glucose in their bloodstream and are unable to regulate the amount of insulin levels. Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, representing 90-95% of all diabetes cases.
Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
- Increase of blood sugar levels: Diabetics have challenges in regulating blood glucose levels but are more challenged if they have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease elevates blood sugar levels in the body, increasing the amount of time the body has to function with high blood sugar levels. Diabetics with periodontitis suffer from increased blood sugar levels in the saliva and this can promote the growth of gum disease-causing bacteria causing other periodontal infections.
- Blood vessel thickening: Diabetes has known cardiovascular and circulatory detrimental effects. Blood vessel thickening is a major concern for diabetics. Diabetes thickens the blood vessels and slows blood circulation allowing bacteria to colonize. Blood vessels function to transfer
nutrients into tissues and transfer toxins out of tissues but with thickening of the blood vessels bacteria toxins linger in the body causing harm to healthy tissue and organs. In addition, the body’s overall resistance to infections in reduced.
- Smoking: Tobacco products significant damage the oral cavity and can increase the incidence of developing oral cancer and periodontal disease. If you are diabetic, smoker and 45 years of age then you are twenty times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
- Poor oral hygiene: Routine oral health care exams, brushing your teeth and gums effectively, flossing daily, swishing with oral rinses and using other oral hygiene products are very important, but it is especially important for diabetics. When teeth and gums are not properly cared for, harmful bacteria can ingest the excess sugar and colonized beneath the gum line increasing the incidence for periodontal disease.
Diagnosis and Treatment
It is essential that diabetic individuals have routine oral health care exams at a minimum of two times a year at Michael Drone Dentistry & Prosthodontics. Dr. Drone will evaluate the following: medical history, dental history, dental radiographs, saliva sampling, the condition of your gums, the condition of your teeth and your jawbone to assess any risk factors for periodontal disease.
Dr. Drone will design a periodontal treatment plan with the hygienist and perform the necessary non-surgical periodontal procedures:
- removal of the tarter from the teeth
- removal of tarter above and below the gum line
- removal of bacteria on the roots of the teeth
- removal of bacteria in the gum pockets
- application of antibiotics into the gum pockets
- prescription for medicated mouthwash
- placement of fluoride
Our hygienists will discuss oral health care instructions and recommend and hygiene products with you at the end of your appointment. At each oral health care appointment Dr. Drone will re-evaluate your periodontal plan and make any necessary modifications if needed. Studies have demonstrated that periodontal treatments such as scaling & root planning and periodontal maintenance the HbA1c (hemoglobin molecule blood test) count can be reduced by 20% in a six month period.