Diabetes and Oral Health Care

woman sitting on couch and using diabetes needle picture id629078466

It’s estimated that nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes and many aren’t aware of the impact on their oral as well as overall health. Research reveals that there is an increased incidence of gum and periodontal disease for those with diabetes. Further research also suggests that oral disease affects blood glucose levels.

If blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop gum and periodontal disease because you are more prone to infections overall. Gum disease is reversible and limited to the gingiva. However, if left untreated, it can develop into Periodontal disease which affects the surrounding structures and isn’t reversible. Furthermore, Periodontal disease may have an impact on blood sugar increases making diabetes more difficult to control.

Other mouth issues that plague people with diabetes include Thrush (Fungal Infection), dry mouth syndrome (Xerostomia), bacterial infections, and decay. Thrush is common in people with diabetes who have dentures if the dentures aren’t removed and cleaned regularly.

Dry mouth syndrome can cause an increase in decay as saliva is a natural cleanser. A dry mouth is also very uncomfortable and problematic. There are several over the counter and prescription remedies which can be recommended by your Dental professional. Decay can also be arrested by treating a dry mouth.

The most important things you can do if you have diabetes is controlling your blood glucose levels and having impeccable oral hygiene. This means visiting your dentist at least twice per year for routine cleanings and brushing and flossing at home on a regular basis. Your Dental professional may have you come in more than twice per year depending on your oral health. Brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once daily is mandatory. Many patients find a quality electric brush to be of great value.

Your Dental team should be kept aware of your diabetic condition. You may want to avoid any nonemergent visits if your glucose levels are not regulated. Working with your Dental professionals will ensure that having diabetes and a healthy mouth is not impossible.

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