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What is gum disease and what factors put you at risk for it?

ANSWER

Gum disease happens when you have an infection in your gums and other tissues nearby. Without proper dental care, your risk for gum disease may rise as you age. Diabetes makes you more likely to get gum disease. It affects your ability to fight off infections, including those in your mouth. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

From: 6 Health Problems to Watch For WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: “Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up.”

Kirkman, S. , December 2012. Diabetes Care

Cleveland Clinic: “Aging and Your Eyes.”

American Diabetes Association: “Eye Care,” “Diabetes and Oral Health Problems,” “Balance Training Helps Prevent Falls,” “Peripheral Neuropathy,” “Flu and Pneumonia Shots.”

NIH Senior Health: “Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

American Dental Association: “Preventing Periodontal Disease.”

National Institute on Aging: “Falls and Fractures.”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes.”

CDC: “Flu and People with Diabetes,” “What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season if You Are 65 Years and Older,” “People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Diabetes and Cognitive Decline,” “Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.”

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 18, 2018

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: “Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up.”

Kirkman, S. , December 2012. Diabetes Care

Cleveland Clinic: “Aging and Your Eyes.”

American Diabetes Association: “Eye Care,” “Diabetes and Oral Health Problems,” “Balance Training Helps Prevent Falls,” “Peripheral Neuropathy,” “Flu and Pneumonia Shots.”

NIH Senior Health: “Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

American Dental Association: “Preventing Periodontal Disease.”

National Institute on Aging: “Falls and Fractures.”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Sexual and Urologic Problems of Diabetes.”

CDC: “Flu and People with Diabetes,” “What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season if You Are 65 Years and Older,” “People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Diabetes and Cognitive Decline,” “Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.”

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 18, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Is there anything I can do to prevent gum disease if I have diabetes?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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