Gum Disease and Diabetes 

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gum disease imageGum disease typically begins without you ever knowing you have it. Over time, the condition progresses and can slowly destroy your gums and teeth, impacting your smile. Unfortunately, for those with diabetes, the condition may put them even more at risk for developing gum disease and oral health complications.

The gum disease treatment experts of Babylon Dental Care want to help you maintain happy and healthy gums. While most diabetics understand the medical complications that can impact their bodies, they are not always aware of how diabetes can affect their smiles. The team at Babylon Dental Care wants to keep you in the know. This guide will give you valuable information on how diabetes can lead to gum disease and what you can do to fight back. To learn more, call us at (631) 983-6665.

Table Of Contents

    What Is Diabetes?

    Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that impacts how your body turns certain food products into energy. When a person eats, the body breaks that food down into glucose or sugar. Glucose is then released into the bloodstream, raising your blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels go up, signals are sent to the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. Insulin helps control glucose levels while also allowing the body to store glucose in the liver, fat, and muscles. Insulin also regulates how the body metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

    In diabetics, the body can’t make enough insulin, or it can’t use the insulin it does produce effectively. Blood sugar levels can remain too high and damage blood vessels and internal organs. Diabetes can eventually result in conditions such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney problems.

    There are three categories of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 is thought to be the result of an autoimmune reaction where the body begins to attack its own cells. The reaction causes the body to stop producing insulin. 90 to 95 percent of people with diabetes are diagnosed with type 2. Type 2 diabetics cannot use the insulin they do have properly. Lifestyle changes like eating healthy and losing weight can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in some people.

    While there are treatment options for those with diabetes, there is no cure.

    Gum Disease and Diabetes

    While diabetes has been linked to a variety of other conditions, like cardiovascular problems, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage, and skin conditions, it can also cause problems for your teeth and gums.

    Diabetes can impact a person’s oral health in multiple ways. First, having too much glucose in the bloodstream can mean that a person also has too much glucose present in their saliva. High sugar levels in saliva can create the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The bad bacteria can combine with food particles to cause plaque and tartar build-up. This build-up can trigger the hallmark inflammation and infections associated with gum disease.

    Diabetes can also produce changes in blood vessels. The condition can cause fatty deposits to form inside vessels, restricting blood flow. Over time people can experience decreased sensation in their extremities like their hands and feet. In severe cases, amputation may even be required because blood flow is not adequate to keep the extremities alive. This reduced blood flow can also impact the gums, weakening the soft tissue of the gums and the underlying bone.

    Not only can diabetes result in gum disease, but diabetes also makes treating gum disease more difficult. Diabetes can impact a person’s immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infections like periodontitis and heal wounds like mouth sores and ulcers.


    Signs of Gum Disease in Diabetics

    plaque bacteriaThe early stages of gum disease may be difficult to spot. It is vital for diabetics to make regular appointments with their dentist to head off the early stages of gum disease and prevent more serious gum and tooth problems from forming. As gum disease progresses, the signs of the disorder become more severe. Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease include:

    • Swollen or puffy gum tissue
    • Gums that are red, not a healthy pink
    • Gums that feel sensitive or tender
    • Bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth
    • Bad breath
    • Bad taste in the mouth
    • Loose teeth
    • Pain when chewing
    • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
    • Gums that pull away from your teeth or teeth that look “longer”

    Gum Disease Prevention

    eat healthyThe best treatment for gum disease is prevention. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. You may also want to add an antibacterial mouthwash to your daily routine to help flush out food particles and kill bacteria. Be mindful that no matter how thoroughly you clean your teeth, you need regular dental visits to clean hard-to-reach tartar build-up.

    Curbing bad habits like smoking can also help improve the health of your gums. Smoking is extremely bad for your oral health. It can also impact your immune system, making infections in the gums harder to treat. Diabetics have an even greater risk of developing gum disease due to the combination of their illness and the effects of smoking.

    Actively managing diabetes can also help prevent gum disease. Carefully monitor and control blood glucose levels with the help of a physician. Keeping blood sugar levels in check can lower the amount of glucose in saliva. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet may also contribute to better oral health. Diabetics may consider avoiding acidic and sugary drinks. These drinks can erode tooth enamel and feed harmful bacteria in the mouth.

    Schedule an Appointment with Babylon Dental Care Today

    Managing diabetes isn’t always easy. At Babylon Dental Care, we understand the unique oral health needs of diabetics. We want to take an active part in helping patients manage and avoid gum disease so that their mouth is the last thing they have to worry about.

    If you are a diabetic and are concerned about gum disease or your oral health in general, contact our office or call us at (631) 983-6665 to make an appointment.



    “Amazing experience getting my teeth cleaned at Babylon Dental Care. Melody is fantastic and provided a top-notch painless service. Highly recommend.”

    Ron S


    “Absolutely incredible team. From the very moment you walk in you're greeted with kindness and people who want to help you. When I was asked how everything was I literally told them I was speechless. Having had terrible experiences as a kid with dentistry I wasn't sure if the nice things I've heard and read would live up to my expectation. I'm so glad they met them, and even went above and beyond what I had imagined. They offered me several options (a comfort menu) for things I could ask for to help make the time go by easier and with less anxiety.. all for free! If you have been holding off due to how long it's been and how anxious you might be then take this as your sign to look into coming here. I really truly am so glad I overcame my fear and made my appointment, they are just *that* good”

    Brian K


    “Really love this office, they are so kind and non judge mental, I have dealt with so many judge mental dental offices and I have felt totally at ease here. Truly grateful to find them. Dr David is so gentle and for the first time ever I don’t have an anxiety attack coming in to the dentist. The ladies in the front are a pleasure as well, Beth is a breathe of fresh air.”

    Angela P


    “I had my teeth cleaned by Melody and she did an incredible job. She is gentle, and caring. My teeth look and feel amazing! I normally hate going to the dentist but now look forward to my cleanings with Melody and this location! Everyone is this office is so kind and sweet from the moment you walk in.”

    Gillian W


    “This was my first time at this Dental office. I went in for a cleaning and dental exam. The office is Clean and modern. I felt comfortable and welcomed right from the start. My hygienist 'Melody' was great! I feel that she was very thorough, talked me through everything she was doing and made recommendations for improving my routine at home. My dental exam with Dr. Diamond was just as pleasant. I liked that she also took her time and I didn't feel rushed. All-in-all it was a good experience. The entire team at the clinic displayed a high level of professionalism and made me feel comfortable throughout my visit.”

    Brenda S


    “Love this office and all staff! From the front desk, to the hygienist, the dentists and the lovely ladies that check you out, it’s a top notch experience. I trust them 100%!”

    Marian P


    “Dr. David and the entire staff at Babylon Dental Care are amazing! Every single person who works there is so kind compassionate. I’m a very nervous patient and Dr. David and his assistant Amber made me feel so at ease. I highly recommend Babylon Dental Care especially if you’re an anxious patient!”

    Elisabeth D


    “From the moment I walked in it was a great experience. The facility is modern and clean. I was treated extremely well. And I really don't like going to the dentist but I'm actually looking forward to my next visit. Everyone I met was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable.”

    Tom M


    “Everyone in the Patchogue office are wonderful! Kind, caring, and attentive. I have always hated dentists but I am never anxious to come there. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt this at ease. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience for me. I won’t ever hesitate to go to the dentist again!”

    Susan G


    “First visit and everyone was so nice and made the transition to a new dentist seamless! Corinn did a great cleaning and explained everything as she was doing it!”

    Kayleigh P


    “I would highly recommend Babylon Dental Care. The Drs and Staff are all very friendly and professional. They take the extra time to explain the procedures which are truly done gently and with care. I saw Dr. Knakal and Dr. Diamond. The lobby is comfortable and the dental work areas are immaculate. Also, I have never had to wait very long before being seen!”

    Regina B


    “First time here, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Super clean and friendly staff. Corrin and Dr. Brown are absolutely wonderful! Very thorough and knowledgeable.”

    Cara P


    “This is quite possibly the most impressive Dental office I’ve ever seen. All the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The office is so gorgeous through out. I loved my hygienist, she was very knowledgeable and very thorough and informative about being proactive with your hygiene habits. Dr Hsu was amazing. I highly recommend him. Very professional and explains everything he’s doing and that you’re comfortable during the visit. I’m really glad I found this office and my new Dentist.”

    Angel W


    “I have been using Babylon Dental Care for almost 10 years. Dr. Brown, Jen, Melody and Michelle are incredible. They are always concerned with the patients well being and health making it a different experience. They treat you like family, not a patient. I use them for dentistry and their silent night therapy. Thank you for taking care of my family. Great job team!”

    Chuck M


    “I've been coming here for about a year and a half. I have always had Francesca and she's great. She's always professional, friendly and honest with me. They have a pretty good system with the walkie-talkies too which makes the process more or less pretty smooth. I also really appreciate that they are transparent up front with cost, not many places are like that in my experiences.”

    Scott A


    “Professional and courteous staff, every time I come here I’m more than satisfied. Dr Wrann & Dr Knakal are exceptionally good. I would highly recommend Babylon Dental!”

    Nick S


    “Very professional staff and the hygienist Melody is amazing. The dentist are very thorough and they explained every little bit of details of your procedure. They make you feel so relaxed and welcoming. I would recommend Babylon Dental Care to anyone.”

    Verona B


    “I recently moved approximately 300 miles away, I continue to make the trip back to Babylon Dental Care. My hygienist Paige could not be kinder, friendlier or professional. I have been having issues with bone loss in my jaws and now it's time for implants. Dr. Knakal has been outstanding. I know I am in the best hands. Everyone I have dealt with at BDC from the receptionists to the checkout personnel are awesome! I will be continuing to make the trip for all my dental care.”

    Pete R


    “Babylon Dental Care is an amazing practice! I had an issue with my teeth and they took me immediately. Their friendly and compassionate staff walked me through each step and in a matter of a week I had that tooth extracted and my flipper ready for every day use! You can’t even tell I have it in! The office is spotless and they even have Netflix! How cool is that! You’re welcomed as soon as you walk in and they made me feel so comfortable. Dr. Golo and Dr. Knakal took such good care of me and I would recommend them to anyone! The office is so convenient and literally across the street from my home so it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Babylon Dental!”

    Joseph S


    “I've never had such an amazing experience at a dentist. They are so kind, so caring, so friendly, and really make you feel appreciated and not just like a patient number. I am blown away by the care I received here, and will be recommending them to everyone I know!”

    Jessica C


    “I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this practice. Best dental practice ever! Everyone is so kind, caring and respectful. I don't dread going to the dentist anymore. I've had a lot of work done and am extremely pleased. They are very gentle and strive to keep you pain free. Very professional from reception on up. I highly recommend Babylon Dental. Would give them 10 stars if I could!”

    Debra B


    “Had the zoom whitening treatment and all I can say is wow!!”

    Beth L


    “At Babylon Dental Care, “care” is given from arrival to check out. I was anxious; it had been a few years since my last filling. From the moment I walked into the exam room, Karen comforted me. She explained the process, answered my questions and talked with me to keep me calm. Dr. Wrann was excellent! I did not have any pain before, during or after the procedure. So happy! Thank you to a truly great team!”

    Kristina F


    “I went there during covid as my dentist was shut down by the pandemic. They really do everything they can to make you feel good about your experience. Melanie who cleans my teeth as well is wonderful and does a great job everything by the time I leave I don't want to go. Excellent place for dental work. They go above and beyond.”

    Connor L