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Gum disease is common, seriously affects diabetes, CVD, CKD and is treatable.
The higher the blood glucose, the greater the risk for developing gum or (periodontal) disease.
Infection and inflammation associated with gum disease is systemic, so that treatment has benefits throughout the body.
AI/AN people with diabetes have two to three times more advanced gum disease than people who do not have diabetes.
Results in the loss of all teeth in approximately one-third of AI/AN people with diabetes.
People without teeth can suffer emotionally and nutritionally because they may not be able to eat many important types of foods.
Other oral health issues in people with diabetes, such as cavities, problem with dentures, mouth sores, and dry mouth need referral to a dental provider.
Oral care is an integral part of diabetes care, reducing CVD and CKD, and requires a team approach to overcome barriers to accessing care.
Recommendations for Oral Care
Examine the patient's mouth as part of routine diabetes care:
Examine teeth and gum for plaque, gingival inflammation, and caries.
Inquire about pain and look for problem including sores, swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth, mouth ulcers or growths, candidiasis, or decayed teeth.
If a patient uses oral tobacco, be sure to examine gums and oral mucosa, especially where the patient usually places the tobacco. Refer for tobacco cessation.
If a patient smokes, refer for smoking cessation. Smoking is a significant risk factor in the development of gum disease.
Refer for professional dental care:
Annually for routine dental examination.
More often for people with periodontal disease as determined by the dental care professional.
As needed for evaluation of oral health problems.
Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: 1-844-IHS-DDTP (1-844-447-3387) |