Diabetes and Oral Health: Partners in Crime!

Did you know that people with diabetes have a higher incidence of periodontal disease or gum disease than people without diabetes? That’s because if you have problems keeping your blood sugars in control, it could lead to an infection and can cause injuries from healing quickly. This is just one example of how diabetes and oral health are connected.

Let’s talk briefly about what periodontal disease is, available prevention and treatment options, and other dental problems that can be linked to diabetes.

High blood glucose levels can make it easier to get a gum infection. Poor oral hygiene, tooth decay and smoking can also contribute to periodontal disease.

Diabetes and Oral Health: What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a progressive infection that begins in the gums surrounding your teeth. It eventually spreads throughout your mouth and causes inflammation and damage to everything it reaches. In some severe cases, gum disease can almost entirely destroy a sufferer’s jawbone. It may spread into other regions of body and trigger additional illnesses or interact with preexisting ones.

If you suffer from diabetes but fail to properly maintain your blood glucose levels, you will have elevated levels of glucose (or sugar) circulating through different areas in your body; especially within your mouth. In response to the heightened glucose, your mouth begins accumulating excess bacteria, which ultimately creates the ideal setting for an infection like periodontal disease to develop and flourish. Conversely, periodontitis is a progressive bacterial infection within the gum tissue that if neglected, can severely damage or destroy your gums, teeth, and jaw. However, like any infection, gum disease may profoundly affect and destabilize you’re the blood glucose level, therefore making them increasingly difficult to control and ultimately allowing the diabetes to exponentially progress.

Possible Warning Signs

Symptoms of diabetes can affect all aspects of your health. However, if left unchecked, they can almost immediately begin to affect your oral health. Some of the telltale symptoms are:

  • Frequent bouts of thirst and or dry mouth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty tasting certain foods
  • Prolonged or slow-healing sores or wounds
  • Increased susceptibility to additional oral infections or complications

Diabetes and Oral Health: Prevention

Gum disease affects 22 percent of diabetics; however, the good news is that you can take charge of your health and easily make a positive impact on your oral health. For example, brushing, flossing and visiting Dr. Roberts at Adams Dental Group regularly can help you decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes-related mouth issues.

Diabetes can lead to some devastating mouth issues if left untreated. However, there are ways to reduce or prevent any further damage from occurring. Please understand managing your blood glucose levels requires a routine of proper oral hygiene:

Related Articles: Diabetes and Oral Health: Are the 2 Really Connected?

6-Month Dental Appointment: Why It’s Important at Adams Dental Group

Other Dental Issues that can be caused by Diabetes:

Diabetes and Oral Health: Tooth Loss

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes. Some people with diabetes have less saliva. So they can find themselves feeling more thirsty than normal and try to fight their dry mouth by drinking water. Other things that can help generate more saliva are eating healthy, crunch foods and chew sugarless gum. It’s important to keep healthy levels of saliva, because it washes away food particles that can lead to cavities.

Diabetes and Oral Health: Oral Thrush

Your immune system can also be affected by diabetes and make you more prone to infection. A yeast infection called oral thrush is a common issue among people with diabetes and those who wear dentures. The yeast thrive on the higher amount of sugar found in diabetic’s saliva and looks like a white layer coating your tongue and the inside of your cheeks.

Related Article: Perio Scaling: Treating a Creepy Problem – Gum Disease

Diabetes and Oral Health: Never Fear!

We’re not trying to scare you, only help you understand that diabetes can cause serious oral effects and potential health problems if left untreated. Remember that there are successful ways to manage your diabetes and oral health, as numerous resources are available to help you. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us at Adams Dental!

Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 or our East location (913) 621-3113 to schedule an appointment.

February 13th, 2018

Posted In: Dental Health Tips