Diabetes is a health condition that affects the way your body controls blood glucose levels. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, which is responsible for transporting sugar from the blood to the body’s cells.
In people with Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should. Either type of diabetes makes a person more likely to experience problems with their oral health.
This is particularly important in Arkansas, where roughly 1 in 7 people has diabetes or a related condition.
How Diabetes Affects Your Oral Health
There are several ways diabetes has been known to affect a person’s oral health.
People with diabetes are more likely to experience dry mouth. When the salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva, it can’t help wash away food particles and acids. When these food particles and acids linger in your mouth, it can cause tooth decay.
Diabetes is also known to slow the healing process. Those who undergo a dental procedure may take longer to recover and are more susceptible to dangerous infections. However, with proper care and treatment, you can avoid or minimize these risks.
Diabetes & Gum Disease
Patients with diabetes are also at a greater risk of developing gum disease. This includes early gum disease, known as gingivitis, and advanced gum disease known as periodontitis.
According to the American Dental Association, nearly 22 percent of people with diabetes are also suffering from periodontal disease. Those with diabetes are nearly four times more likely to develop gum disease than someone without diabetes.
Maintaining Good Oral Health in Diabetes Patients
However, the sooner the problem is addressed, the better. If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar under control. By appropriately monitoring your diabetes, you lower your risk of developing other health problems.
Additionally, by practicing proper dental hygiene like brushing and flossing daily and maintaining regular checkups with your dentist, you are far more likely to stay happy and healthy.
It is especially important for people with diabetes to see their dentist often. You should schedule a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. This way we can help prevent oral health problems like gum disease and cavities from arising, or treat them early if necessary.
An important thing for all diabetes patients to remember is that communication is key. If you have diabetes, let us know as soon as you come into our office for your appointment. If we are treating you for gum disease or other oral health problems, mention it to your doctor. This allows us to work together so that you can properly and effectively manage your condition.
Although you are at a greater risk for health complications as a result of your diabetes, you can still take control of your health. With awareness, vigilance, and the help of your trusted health care providers, you can maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about how our team at Dental Health of Fianna can help you, call 479-262-9101 today.