Diabetes affects dental health

Diabetes affects dental health

Current research shows an increased risk of gum disease for people with diabetes.  Diabetes is associated with serious gum disease, along with other issues such as kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.

There is a two way relationship between both.  Having poorly controlled diabetes puts you at risk for serious gum disease.  Having gum disease affects your ability to manage your blood glucose levels.  As a result, this can make your diabetes harder to manage and lead to more serious issues.  Diabetes puts you at risk for periodontitis as well, this is an advanced stage of gum disease.  Periodontitis results in jaw bone loss, which can lead to tooth loss.

Diabetes also puts you at risk for bacterial infections and lowers your ability to resist bacteria from affecting your gums.

How is my oral health affected?

Oral issues linked to diabetes include: thrush which is an infection caused by fungus in the mouth, and dry mouth.  Having dry mouth increases your chance of dental decay, sores and ulcers.

How can I prevent dental issues?

Having control of your blood glucose levels is very important.  Once your levels are properly managed, taking proper care of your teeth and gums is the next step. Remember that good oral health is tied to your overall health. It is important to brush and floss regularly.  Seeing your dentist for regular checkups is important to maintain your health and to monitor it as well.  If you suffer from dry mouth, controlling your blood glucose can help prevent dry mouth associated with diabetes.

What should I tell my dentist?

It is important to let your dentist or dental hygienist if you have diabetes.  People with diabetes require a personalized treatment plan, tailored to their needs.  Remember to update your dentist and dental hygienist of any changes in your medications, dosages or health.

Useful links:

Canadian Diabetes Association
American Diabetes Association
Mayo Clinic

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