Fast Facts Brisbane City

Know the facts about your oral health

We’ve put together some useful facts to help you stay informed about your oral health.

One in every two diabetics will develop gum disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums which can cause your teeth to fall out. Diabetics have more than three times the risk of the disease and a much higher rate of tooth loss.

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Only dentists can diagnose gum disease risk

The underlying problem is that the bone surrounding the teeth is dissolved while the gum stays in its normal place. This means while the tooth looks normal and healthy, it’s just held in by the soft gums and not the bone.

That’s why it is important to see your dentist, who can measure the gums around the teeth and use x-rays to check the level of the bone that is holding the teeth in place. This check should be done at every examination if you’re a diabetic to identify any areas of concern before they become serious.

Treatments for replacing teeth lost from gum disease can be limited

Prevention is better than cure. Due to the bone being lost, the options for tooth replacement can be restricted to plastic false teeth. Implants, crowns and bridges can be done in some situations but need to be very carefully assessed, meticulously maintained and can often require the use of bone grafts.

Early diagnosis and prevention is the key

Once the bone has been lost, treatment options become very limited. Bone grafts can be used but carry a high risk and require extra surgery and healing times, along with costs. Often with early detection, simple changes to your home cleaning regime or changing the frequency of your professional cleaning with a hygienist can be all that's required to prevent the disease from progressing.

Gum disease increases insulin resistance — making it difficult to control your diabetes

Gum disease is the same as any other infection. It will affect your glucose control and make your diabetes worse. Think of an ulcer covering most of your calf muscle and how your GP would react to this.

Treatment of gum disease is associated with an average 10% improvement in HbA1c levels

More and more studies are confirming that treatment for gum disease can improve the diabetic control of a patient.