Diabetes and Teeth Concerns
Some 8.3% of the population in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes, while 79 million people have prediabetes. Most people are well aware of the general health problems diabetes can cause, but not so many know about the problems associated with oral health. Diabetes is a systemic disease so it does affect the entire body, but taking care of your teeth and gums can help to protect your general health. Conversely ignoring your oral health will have a detrimental effect on your general health. Managing blood sugar levels is incredibly important.
ORAL PROBLEMS AND DIABETES
Unfortunately diabetics are more prone towards common dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Poorly controlled glucose levels can affect not only your body but also your teeth and gums. If you cannot keep your blood sugar levels under control you’re at risk of having additional glucose in your saliva, allowing bacteria in the mouth to feed on this energy source. These bacteria can cause gum disease and tooth decay. The problem can be exacerbated by a lack of saliva caused by a condition called dry mouth. In addition diabetics are more likely to have canker sores, oral thrush and other fungal infections.
DIABETES AND GUM DISEASE
The additional glucose in your mouth will enable bacteria to thrive; these bacteria irritate the gums, causing infection and inflammation as the body tries to fight back. Unfortunately diabetics find it harder to heal as the condition can lead to the blood vessels narrowing, making it more difficult for essential nutrients to be transported to the diseased gums. Unhealthy gums will bleed, allowing bacteria in your mouth to get into your bloodstream. It’s thought the presence of these bacteria in the body makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels, exacerbating the situation.
DIABETES AND TOOTH DECAY
Diabetes increases the likelihood of the mouth being more acidic, as bacteria thriving on the excess glucose will produce acids as a by-product, softening and weakening the tooth enamel, and increasing its susceptibility towards tooth decay. The higher your blood sugar levels, the greater the risk of dental decay and cavities forming.
DIABETES AND DRY MOUTH (XEROSTOMIA)
Dry mouth is very common amongst diabetics, and can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This is because saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food, keeping the mouth more hygienic.
MIDTOWN DENTISTRY CAN HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR DIABETES
Great dental care is very important, and Midtown Dentistry will work with you to help you manage this condition. We can suggest various ways of reducing the side effects of dry mouth and can also provide you with additional dental care where necessary. Some diabetics might benefit from more frequent professional teeth cleaning, and more frequent exams will enable us to treat problems early on before they can become too significant.
Better dental care can decrease the risk of dental diseases, and can help protect general health. A recent study showed diabetics with good oral health had lower medical bills.
Call us at (713) 807-9877 or use the button below to Ask a Question or Schedule Your Appointment to have Dr. Jonathan Penchas or one of his expert staff examine your teeth.