Most people are familiar with the common symptoms of diabetes, such as increased hunger or thirst, frequent urination, and vision changes. However, there’s one symptom that is almost as equally common, affecting roughly 22% of people with diabetes. Still, it often goes ignored. Keep reading to discover this surprising diabetes symptom and how it affects your oral health.
Red, Swollen Gums Might Be a Symptom of Diabetes
Although surprising to some, diabetes and dental health are actually closely linked. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease. This condition can lead to bad breath, inflamed gums, pain, and tooth loss.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Gums?
Having high blood sugar levels causes blood vessels to thicken. As a result, the flow of nutrients and the removal of waste from body tissues are reduced. The reduced blood flow, in turn, weakens the gum and bones, while the waste removal impediment affects your saliva, allowing the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
While diabetes is one of the primary causes of gum disease, this condition can also cause further blood sugar level spikes. Diabetes patients with gum disease are caught in a vicious cycle of escalating symptoms.
Consult Medical Professionals
Having red and swollen gums is a symptom that requires medical attention from both your dentist and a general practitioner. Regardless of how subtle the symptom is, it’s best to address it immediately and start working toward managing it. Practicing good oral hygiene can help your body fight the disease, which, in turn, can also improve your blood sugar levels.