Diabetes is a health condition where the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. This affects the overall health of the person and also increases the risk of developing many oral diseases. When blood sugar is too high, the sugar can attach itself to any cell in the body, damaging them over time. If left untreated, diabetes can cause vision problems, nerve damage, kidney damage, and other severe complications. In severe cases, a patient may even lose their leg or foot due to circulation issues caused by the high sugar levels in the blood. This is why regular dental care is so important for diabetic patients.
Diabetes can increase your risk of developing gum disease because diabetics are more susceptible to infection. High glucose levels in the mouth can also harm the ability of the gums to repair themselves after they are damaged. This makes it very important for patients to brush their teeth twice per day and visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.
If you are diabetic, be sure to let your dentist know right away so they can monitor your condition and help you prevent serious oral health issues in the future. It is important to get a professional cleaning and exam twice a year to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The relationship between diabetes and oral health is complex, as changes in the mouth are often related to changes in the rest of the body and vice versa. For example, gum disease can cause blood sugar levels to rise, while high blood sugar can make it harder for the body to fight off infection. As a result, people with diabetes are more likely to have serious oral complications like gum disease or dry mouth, as well as to develop other issues like mouth cancer. Patients who have diabetes should visit their dentist regularly to prevent and treat complications.
One common complication of diabetes is dry mouth. A dry mouth happens when there isn’t enough saliva to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Without enough moisture, bacteria multiply rapidly, increasing the risk of tooth decay, bad breath, and other potential problems. Over time, dry mouth can also result in sores developing in the corners of the mouth, a condition known as angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis is more common in diabetics because diabetes reduces the amount of protein the body uses to fight infection.
Meanwhile, untreated gum disease can increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, people with poorly controlled diabetes are more susceptible to bacterial infections of the gums, which can potentially lead to more severe problems with overall health.
Though it may seem like there’s little you can do about your oral health if you have diabetes, there are steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy and lower your risk for many associated complications. Start by maintaining your blood sugar levels through medication and diet, and visit your dentist twice per year for professional cleanings and exams. When used together, these steps can help keep your teeth healthy for years to come.
Get in touch with Peak Family Dentistry at 4933 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37411, or call (423) 899-1948 to schedule an appointment for the best dental care based on your specific needs.