Diabetes sufferers twice as likely to develop gum disease

Erin Van Der Meer
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Having diabetes doubles a person's chance of developing gum disease, research into the link between diabetes and oral health has found.

Studies have long supported the link between diabetics and poor oral health, as sufferers are more susceptible to bacterial infections, meaning germs can invade and infect the gum area more easily.

It's a concerning problem for diabetics, given infections in the body can make blood sugar levels harder to control and lead to the advancement of the disease.

Symptoms of gum disease include swelling or pus around the teeth or gums, pain when chewing, sharp pain when eating hot or cold foods, or dark spots or holes in the teeth.

People with diabetes are encouraged to visit the dentist every six months, and to brush their teeth twice a day using a toothpaste and brush especially designed to help prevent and reduce gingivitis.

Flossing and using mouthwash every day can also help. About 900,000 Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes.

For every person diagnosed, it is estimated that there is another person who has not yet been diagnosed with the disease.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90 percent of all people with diabetes

There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes.

Image: Getty ImagesTea can reduce diabetes risk Image: FacebookDog saves three-year-old diabetic girl Image: Getty ImagesDogs trained to sniff out diabetic warning signs The diabetes risk women need to know about