Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums fills with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums, and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
Diabetic patients have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Poor diabetic control increases glucose levels in the saliva and encourages bacterial growth; thereby, causing periodontal disease. If left untreated, advanced stages of periodontal disease can cause difficulty in chewing and lead to tooth loss. As with any infection in patients with diabetes, keeping blood sugar under control can be difficult with periodontal disease. Gum disease may also increase diabetes-related complications such as thickening of blood vessels and heart disease.
Diabetics should take proper care of their teeth by brushing and flossing regularly and visit the dentist on a regular basis to prevent periodontal disease.