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Dental Patients with Diabetes

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Midtown Dentistry

Houston, Texas

According to American Diabetes Association, there are about 24 million Americans that have diabetes. That is a staggering number, isn’t it? Considering the modern advances in health care, more and more people are still getting type 2 diabetes which is also known as adult onset diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes is an acquired condition, which means it can be prevented and controlled if given proper attention and awareness by both the patient and the doctor.

What is the role of dentists in maintaining good oral hygiene for patients with diabetes? That’s a good question and the answer is: very crucial. The mouth harbors many bacteria and for a person with diabetes, gum problems can easily occur. That said, without following a strict oral regimen, diabetics have a higher risk of tooth loss incidence compared to those who don’t have it.

With proper diet, medication and guidance of your doctor, any procedure can be done and turn in great results. Common oral problems of people with diabetes range from gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) to the more serious gum problem called periodontitis. Thrush, a fungal infection, and dry mouth are also common in patients with diabetes.

To control diabetes, it is important to monitor blood glucose levels. When it is poorly controlled, bacteria can easily proliferate in the mouth and cause gums to swell, bleed easily and become prone to infection. Having diabetes though must not stop one from seeking cosmetic dentistry procedures but you must inform your dentist about your condition.

Your cosmetic dentist Houston will advise you to brush and floss regularly to prevent bacterial infection. Regularly visiting your dentist every six months is also essential in maintaining good oral health.  Avoid smoking. If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them daily. Before any dental procedure, a thorough examination must be performed and permission from your diabetes doctor must be presented if you are due for tooth extraction and any major dental surgical procedure.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.

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” They are all very welcoming, professional and knowledgeable, especially hygienist Loan Pham. I recently got braces and my  teeth look and feel great every time I leave her chair, even now with braces – she’s amazing.”

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