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At the dental practice of Burkart Dental in Aurora, Colorado, we are here to help our patients who have diabetes watch their oral health and maintain a healthy smile. Today we’re going to look at how diabetes affects your oral health.

Did you know that millions of bacteria live in your mouth? Specifically, that sticky film which coats your teeth when you run your tongue along the surface. The problem with this bacteria is that when you have diabetes with constant high blood sugar, this can interfere with your body’s immune response and allowing the bacteria to thrive, causing cause gum disease.

As dental plaque builds up in the mouth it flourishes along the gumline and between teeth. To counteract this, you will need to get rid of it by brushing and flossing every day. Once plaque hardens into a substance known as tartar, it will require dental tools to remove. If plaque isn’t removed at regular intervals, you are at higher risk for periodontal disease–an infection in the gum tissue.

When gum disease is in the early stages, it is known as gingivitis. In this stage, your gums will swell from the irritation, turn red, and bleed. Without treatment, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, a severe infection of the gums. Over time, untreated periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, so that they loosen, and the bone that supports your teeth breaks down.

If you have diabetes, maintain regular visits with your dentist to keep your gums healthy and practice good daily oral hygiene. Brush, floss, and eat a balanced diet low in sugar and starches. For more information on how to keep your gums healthy or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, John Burkart, please call 303-693-7330 today!