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Gum disease linked to diabetes

8:02 PM, Mar 22, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Even the most beautiful smile can be unhealthy on the inside.

If you're gums aren't pink or you're seeing any bleeding during brushing or flossing, that's a health warning you need to take seriously, "It's not going to be a good thing it's usually some sign of infection or inflammation and there is always going to be a cause for it." Dr. Darren Riopelle with Smile Grand Haven dentistry has several patients who learned they were pre-diabetic through a dental visit.

Amanda Bancuk is one of them, "I noticed that my gums were a little bit more red and sore and it was kind of painful to brush."

Dr. Riopelle knew she had gum disease and that it was possible there was an underlying condition, "Let's start talking about your family or anyone else directly who may have diabetes, or stroke or high blood pressure, and then she started tearing up a little bit and said my sister who is 30 is an insulin dependent diabetic."

It was a tough conversation for Amanda for several reasons, because of the possibility of diabetes and also because gum disease isn't curable. Once you have it your only choice is to manage it.

Gum disease is a form of inflammation and is associated with more than just diabetes, but heart disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer's.

Fortunately Amanda got an early diagnosis. Dr.Riopelle believes with Advanced Hygiene Therapy Amanda's gums will become healthier and hopes by keeping the inflammation down it will delay Amanda from developing diabetes.

Studies have shown that patients who are diabetic and get their gum disease under control are able to decrease their medication and in some cases stop it.

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