Periodontics is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum diseases. Periodontists
may perform a root canal or carry out other periodontal, or perio, treatments if your gum health begins
Overview: The Dangers of Gum Disease
Gum disease can become a serious problem for one’s oral health. Bacterially-infected gums and soft
tissues, if left untreated, can deteriorate to the point of tooth loss. But studies point to even larger
Let’s start with a definition. In its earliest, mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis – an
inflammation of gum tissue caused by a buildup of plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the
teeth after eating). At this stage, gum disease is characterized by red, swollen gums that sometimes
bleed. It’s generally reversible by daily flossing and brushing.
Gingivitis, however, can develop into a much more serious form of disease known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque turns into a harder substance at the gum line called calculus or
tartar. When tartar builds up in the v-shaped crevice between tooth and gums (the sulcus), periodontitis
can develop and damage the supporting tissues of the tooth, resulting in possible extraction.
Questions answered and ready to buy?
Gum Disease and Overall Health: The Mouth-Body Connection
Gum disease is inflammatory in nature. Research indicates that there is an association between gum
disease and other inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory
diseases. There is a mouth-body connection that many dentists and physicians watch closely for the
overall improvement of their patient’s health.
Gum disease in those with high risk factors for other inflammatory conditions can likely exacerbate those
conditions. For example, the oral bacteria that cause gum disease can be transmitted to heart tissue and
lung tissue either through inhalation or through the blood stream. In the heart, this can increase
arterial inflammation or attach to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries, leading to heart attack or
stroke. People with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) or pneumonia can see their conditions
worsened by the inhalation of oral bacteria originating with gum disease.
Diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than non-diabetics due to their elevated risk of infection
and compromised ability to recover. But they may also suffer diabetic complications from having gum
disease. Severe gum disease can increase blood sugar, affecting already difficult blood glucose
management issues in diabetics.
Pregnant women are at risk of premature birth and low birth weight due to gum disease. Some studies have
suggested that pregnant women with periodontal disease are more likely to deliver prematurely at a low
birth weight. Women with osteoporosis may also suffer greater oral bone loss when gum disease is
Any serious condition should be brought to the attention of your dentist, but if you suspect gum disease,
and you’re at risk for, or have any other type of inflammatory disease, make your condition known
immediately. Detecting gum disease early is the best bet for avoiding more serious complications and
dangers of gum disease down the road.
A Reputation Based on Trust
We do our best to provide you the best experience ever
Very affordable plans and a wide range to choose from to fit your budget...
Belle Chase, LA
Thank you for a pleasant experience
I got signed up for Dental Insurance and your Representative made it very easy...
Gum Disease and Diabetes
For those affected by diabetes – almost 8% of the American population by some estimates – related health
problems can complicate your life. Potential circulatory, vision, kidney, and nerve issues require
diabetics to carefully monitor their blood glucose levels and manage their disease. But periodontal
disease, or gum disease, is also a significant related illness for diabetics to keep in mind.
Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body regulates blood sugar (glucose). Diabetics have too much
glucose in their blood and, left unmanaged, that condition can wreak havoc on many of the body’s
High glucose levels in saliva make diabetics particularly susceptible to periodontal disease. Bacteria
can thrive in that glucose-rich environment, which leads to plaque, an acid-producing film that can
permanently damage teeth and gums. Diabetes also lowers the body’s ability to fight infection,
permitting periodontal disease to worsen rapidly.
These factors make it essential for diabetics to learn to manage their disease diligently. The incidence
of periodontal disease in patients with inadequate blood sugar control is higher than in those with good
control of their diabetes.
Warning Signs and Prevention
Warning signs of periodontal disease include the following:
Swollen, red, or tender gums that bleed easily
Gums that are receding from the teeth
Changes in your bite or the way your teeth fit together
Changes in the fit of partial dentures
Left unchecked, periodontal disease can damage the gums and bone supporting the teeth and lead to tooth
To further prevent periodontal disease, diabetics should:
Brush and floss their teeth daily
Schedule regular dental check ups and cleanings
Maintain a balanced and healthy diet, particularly with regard to blood sugar management
Communicate clearly with your dentist about your condition and whether or not it is under control
Dry mouth (Xerostomia) is a common condition among patients with diabetes. This also can lead to
periodontal disease because saliva aids in the washing away of bacteria-producing food particles. Your
dentist can recommend a saliva substitute as well as fluoride washes to compensate for a reduction in
Diabetes and periodontal disease are both manageable. By maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits, from
cleaning to diet, diabetics can ensure a healthy defense against periodontal disease.
Get a Quote
Enter your information to see available plans in your area
Need help choosing a plan?
Call us at 800-296-3800
Our knowledgeable customer service team will assist you with any questions you may have
prior to enrolling in a dental plan. They can guide you through the process of choosing
coverage that matches your needs as well as your budget.