Is There Any Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health?

Is There Any Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health?

Posted by FULL SMILE ORTHODONTICS on May 13 2023, 07:16 PM

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to the insulin that is produced properly, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas stops producing any insulin at all. Type 2 diabetes is when the body is resistant to the effects of insulin at the cellular level in the body. Both of these forms of diabetes are chronic problems, meaning there is no cure, and patients must manage their condition for the rest of their life.

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease than people without diabetes. When you have high blood sugar, bacteria in the mouth can feed on it and create acids that eat away at your protective enamel. It may be especially difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels due to medications or diet restrictions. When these levels are not controlled, oral infections can occur, which in turn can lead to other serious health complications.

If you have diabetes, you should have regular checkups with your dentist to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. Your dentist will also talk to you about the best ways for you to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home. Brushing and flossing regularly is incredibly important when you have diabetes because excess sugar in your saliva can cause cavities. Consider using toothpaste that is specifically designed for patients who have diabetes for added protection. Also, be sure to schedule professional teeth cleanings every three to four months.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can help protect your overall health as well. Keeping your gums clean can help prevent bacteria and germs from building up in your mouth and causing issues like pneumonia and other respiratory infections. So work with your dentist to ensure you have a healthy smile for years to come!

How Diabetes Impacts Oral Health

People with diabetes are at an elevated risk of developing an oral infection, such as gum disease or dry mouth — a condition that makes it hard to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. In addition, the medications that people with Type 1 diabetes and oral Type 2 diabetes take can cause dry mouth.

A dry mouth affects the body’s ability to fight infections, along with increasing the risk of tooth decay. This is because saliva washes away debris and neutralizes acids produced by plaque on the teeth. Without adequate saliva flow, the mouth is vulnerable to an increased presence of dangerous bacteria. This can also result in bad breath. Another side effect of dry mouth is inflamed gums; when your gums are irritated, it’s more difficult to fight off infection and keep your smile healthy.

With good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to the dentist, people with diabetes can keep their risk of an oral infection to a minimum and maintain better overall health.

If you would like to know more about what the treatment entails and what your options are, give us a call at (760) 804-0080 or schedule an online appointment to visit our dental practice in Carlsbad, CA. 

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