DIABETES IS ONE OF THE MOST
prevalent chronic diseases today. In fact, 29.1 million people in the
U.S. have diabetes and millions more living with the condition don’t
even know they have it.
You may know that diabetes can result in other health complications such
as vision loss, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. But many are
surprised to learn of the impact diabetes can have on your mouth.
Diabetes Is Linked To Oral Infection And Disease
Periodontal, or gum, disease affects
22 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes. What’s more, one in five cases
of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes. These statistics can be distressing,
but a proper understanding of the association between these two diseases
is the first step in preventing complications.
So, first and foremost, why does diabetes affect oral health?
We have billions of bacteria living in our mouths. If that bacteria is
allowed to build up, it can lead to gum disease–swollen, bleeding
gums as well as bone and tooth loss. Because people with diabetes have
a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria, they are more susceptible
to gum disease. Poor blood glucose control also increases the likelihood
of gum problems.
The relationship between diabetes and gum disease, however, is two-way. Because infected gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the
bloodstream, bacteria from the mouth can cause blood sugar spike and fluctuate,
making diabetes harder to manage.
Beyond gum disease, there are other oral infections and problems associated
with diabetes including thrush, dry mouth, cavities and ulcers.
Keep Your Dental Team Involved
Keeping us involved is the most important thing you can do to prevent gum
disease and other oral complications linked to diabetes. If you’ve
been diagnosed with diabetes or if there are changes in your condition,
let us know. Keep us informed of your medications and your doctor’s
recommended treatment plan. Come in to see us regularly and be sure to
regularly visit your dentist as well–every six months or more if
Other things you can do to manage your oral health and diabetes include:
- Develop good oral hygiene habits
- Quit smoking
- Control your blood sugar
Your Health Matters To Us
Every aspect of your health is important to us, not just your the health
of your mouth. If you have questions about how your dentist can help you
manage your diabetes, contact us. We are your partners in ensuring both
your oral and overall health.
Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified
health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Top image by Flickr user
Brett Monroe used under
Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.