Diabetes and Dental Health: How They Are Connected

According to the CDC, more than 29 million people in America have diabetes, and 1 in 4 people don’t even know they have it. Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. For most people with diabetes, they suffer from high blood sugar. For those who have Type 1 diabetes, their body does not make enough insulin which is the hormone that carries sugar from the blood to the cells for energy. Type 11 diabetes is when the body stops responding to the presence of insulin. Diabetes can cause a number of health problems, including obesity, heart issues, mental health issues, and more. But did you also know that diabetes can affect your oral health? It can, and here’s how.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

As stated above, 1 in 4 Americans have diabetes and don’t even know it. This makes it impossible to treat if you aren’t aware you have the disease. It is important to learn about the signs and symptoms of diabetes to look out for so you can manage your health and seek treatment right away if you notice any of these concerns. A few common signs of untreated diabetes are chronic thirst and needing to urinate a lot. You may also experience quick weight loss and constant fatigue. But besides the most common warning signs, diabetes can also affect your oral health is these ways:

  • Less saliva, causing dry mouth
  • Higher risk of cavities due to less protective saliva
  • Inflamed and bleeding gums
  • Reduced function of taste buds
  • Delayed healing of wounds
  • Higher risk of infections inside your mouth
  • Early eruption of teeth in children

Diabetes and a Higher Risk of Gum Disease

Everyone has billions of bacteria organisms in their mouth, both good and bad. If bad bacteria make its way into your gums, you may develop periodontal disease. This is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can damage your gums, the tissues between your teeth, and even your bones. For those with diabetes, periodontal disease is the most common oral disease. Reduced control over blood sugar increases your risk for gum issues, which is the reason why those with diabetes specifically are more at risk for gum disease. As with any infection, gum disease can lead to spiked blood sugar, which can further worsen someone’s diabetes. If not managed, diabetes can lead to gum disease and the presence of gum disease can make diabetes harder to control, leading to a vicious cycle.

Why Seeing a Dentist Regularly Can Help You Treat Diabetes

Due to the cause and effect of diabetes and gum problems, seeing a dentist for regular visits can help you fight your diabetes and help prevent gum disease and other oral health concerns. Practicing good oral hygiene is the first step towards improving your oral health and helping to control the effects of poor blood sugar. And professional cleanings and check-ups from a dentist will help you to keep your diabetes and oral health under control and managed to offer you a higher quality of life.

Ready to Manage Your Diabetes and Prevent Gum Disease?

If you’re ready to take better control over your diabetes and not allow it to take hold over your health, then it’s time to contact Infinite Dental Wellness. They can improve your oral health with regular cleanings, and can help ensure you do not develop gum disease. When you work closely with a dental practitioner, you can gain better control over your blood sugar levels, and be able to fight off bacterial and fungal infections that can lead to gum disease.

Additional tips to help you manage your diabetes and prevent gum disease include:

  • Adopt a healthier, well-balanced diet comprised mostly of whole, nutritious foods
  • Exercise more frequently
  • Avoid smoking
  • Clean your dentures well every day
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist