Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that affects how your body uses food for energy. Your body can also not produce enough insulin, causing high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications if not managed properly. Managing your blood sugar levels is absolutely necessary for preventing more serious health issues down the road. Part of that management may involve an oral health care professional like a dentist.

As part of your treatment plan for managing your blood sugars, you may need medications or supplements to help control your condition. Some of these medications can cause dry mouth, a condition in which your mouth does not have enough saliva to wash away the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. This can make diabetics more susceptible to cavities and periodontitis. This is why it is important to visit the dentist on a regular basis and make sure you keep those appointments!

In addition to oral health care, managing blood glucose levels is an important part of diabetic care. Make sure you talk to your physician about any concerns you have with your oral health or your diabetes. 

Ways Diabetes Affect Oral Health

When it comes to diabetes and your oral health, it’s especially important for diabetics to maintain good oral hygiene habits to prevent complications. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. In addition to getting regular dental checkups, people with diabetes should work with their doctors to manage blood sugar and prevent periodontal disease. Also, it’s important for diabetic patients to avoid dry mouth as it can lead to cavities as well. Saliva contains minerals that neutralize acids that cause plaque buildup, which can lead to cavities.

A dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings as well as fluoride treatments to protect teeth against decay. People with diabetes can also benefit from routine dental X-rays to detect problems that might be hidden underneath the gum tissues, such as abscesses.

Dental professionals can also provide recommendations on how to best care for your teeth at home. For example, they may suggest using toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth as well as a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t irritate the gums. They might also recommend rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash to help fight harmful bacteria.

Other ways to manage dental health issues including quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding sugary drinks. Drinking more water can help wash away food particles and acid from the mouth, which may reduce the risk of developing cavities.

If a patient has periodontitis, a dentist might recommend periodontal therapy to remove bacteria from under the gum line and reduce the infection. At home, brushing twice a day or after every meal is recommended. Flossing once a day is also recommended to remove any food debris between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.

Proper dental care can help prevent common diabetes-related oral complications, including tooth loss and infections. Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels can also help with managing your oral health.

For the dental treatment option, visit Denali Dental Care at 625 E. 34th Ave. #200, Anchorage, AK 99503, or call (907) 274-7691 to book an appointment.

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