Diabetes and Dental Health

by | May 7, 2013 | Dental Care

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to understand how this disease can affect your teeth, gums and health. Diabetes may reduce the blood flow to gums and make your mouth more vulnerable to infection. In addition, high blood sugar can dry your mouth and germs may thrive on the gums and teeth. Dentists know that diabetics have a higher risk for tooth loss and periodontal disease, and understand that they require a special focus on preventative dental care.

Teeth Cleaning Every Six Months

New studies have revealed that there may be a link between gum disease and heart problems. Plaque that collects on the teeth is created by food particles, mucus and germs that become hardened with sharpened edges. If the inflammation of the gums continues untreated, the bones may be destroyed by the increase and spreading of the infection, and tooth loss ensues. Diabetics are more prone to infection due to the lack of blood flow to the mouth tissues and teeth. Regular teeth cleanings are paramount to healthy teeth, gums and the avoidance of oral surgery.

Discuss Your Diabetes with the Dentist

Dentists understand how diabetes may affect your dental health and they will teach you how to properly care for your teeth. Flossing twice daily in addition to brushing your teeth will help your gums fight-off germs and decrease the risk of bacterial infection. Report signs and symptoms of gum disease to your dentist immediately, such as:

Gums bleed during tooth brushing

Frequent infections of the mouth tissues

Bad or foul breath

Soreness or tenderness of gums

Diabetics Usually Experience Dry Mouth

Saliva is a natural moisturizer, cleanser and anti-bacterial for the mouth, teeth and gums. Unfortunately, diabetics may suffer from low production of saliva and the mouth may be more vulnerable to infections. In addition, high blood sugars and medications may also dry the mucus membranes of the inside of the mouth and increase mouth bacteria. It is imperative for diabetics to control their blood sugar and decrease the predisposition of dry mouth for dental health.

Maintain Good Dental Health for Life

A little extra attention to your dental health can help you keep your teeth for life and maintain your smile. Taking good care of your mouth may help you avoid the possibility of gum surgery, tooth loss or other conditions where healing may be complicated by diabetes.


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