Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted by WILLOW GLEN DENTAL CARE Mar 31,2023

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Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to process sugar (glucose), and it occurs when the body can’t produce enough insulin or when the body can’t use insulin properly. Diabetes increases the risk of various oral health problems, such as tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

People with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing gum disease due to high blood sugar levels that weaken the immune system, leaving the body more susceptible to infection and inflammation. Diabetics are also more prone to dry mouth because saliva helps remove food particles from teeth. A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth and gums and contributes to tooth decay. Patients with diabetes are also more likely to have delayed wound healing or healing problems after oral surgery compared to patients without diabetes. Additionally, individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for vision problems and damage related to diabetic retinopathy.

Regular examinations and cleanings can help protect gums and teeth against damage caused by diabetes. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if you’ve had diabetes for several years or if you have other risk factors. Ask your dentist about other ways to manage diabetes to protect your oral health. These can include proper diet and nutrition, exercise, and regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor your health.

Patients concerned about developing gum disease due to diabetes should ask their dentist for more information about preventing it in the future.

Tips to Protect Smile

People with diabetes are more likely to get periodontal disease. And, if you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing complications from gum disease. This is because diabetes reduces your ability to resist infections. This means your body may not be able to fight the bacteria that cause periodontal infection. If left untreated, you may experience tooth loss. You may also develop more serious health problems like heart disease or stroke. This is why it’s so important to maintain good oral health when you have diabetes. It’s much easier to keep your gums healthy than it is to repair the damage.

Follow these tips to protect your smile:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with an ADA-approved soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Replace your toothbrush if the bristles are frayed.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between teeth.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid sugary foods and beverages.
  • Rinse your mouth after you eat to help remove food particles.
  • See your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup.
  • Ask your dentist about the best oral hygiene products for you. Your dentist may recommend using an electric toothbrush or interdental cleaners.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing tooth pain, see your dentist right away. Dental care is an important part of maintaining your health. 

Get in touch with Willow Glen Dental Care at 1600 Willow St, Suite 203, San Jose, CA 95125, or call (408) 978-0911 to learn more about dental services. We’re happy to help you!

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