Do you or a loved one have diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic condition that can cause debilitating problems if left untreated. These problems include everything from painful neuropathy to severe gum disease. November is National Diabetes Month, and Albion Family Dental is working to help spread awareness about the link between diabetes and oral health.
The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes impacts blood sugar levels and your body’s ability to create insulin. You aren’t alone if you’re wondering what that has to do with your teeth. Most people are unaware of the connection between diabetes and dental health concerns. This does not make the connection any less real or significant.
As it turns out, patients who have diabetes are more likely to have specific oral health issues than people without this disease. These issues include some of the most common dental concerns, such as:
- Gum disease
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth decay
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
When you have diabetes, your body does not process glucose properly. This can cause the amount of sugar in your blood to be either too high or too low. When your blood sugar is too high, it increases the sugar content in your saliva. This exposes your teeth and gums to an extreme amount of sugar. The result is cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. 1
Many medications used to treat diabetes come with a long list of side effects, one of which is decreased saliva production. If you use any of these medications, you can develop dry mouth. Dry mouth, in turn, creates the perfect environment for halitosis or bad breath.
Protecting Your Teeth When Living with Diabetes
How can you protect your teeth when you have diabetes? Maintaining your oral health as a person with diabetes relies on two different aspects: managing your diabetes and practicing excellent dental hygiene.
To keep the sugar in your saliva low, you must regulate your blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can ultimately lead to cavities, tooth decay, and more. Follow a low-sugar diet and take your medicine as directed to keep your glucose levels stable.
Ward off cavities and gum disease by being hyper-vigilant with your oral care. People with diabetes should brush their teeth for about four minutes after every meal and floss at least twice daily. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help remove the food particles and bacteria you missed.
Make sure to schedule regular visits to see your hygienist every 3-6 months.
Albion Family Dental: Where to Go for Your Dental Treatment
Are you living with diabetes and concerned about your dental health? Diabetes and oral health are intricately linked — not managing your condition can have significant consequences for your teeth. At Albion Family Dental, we offer a wide range of dental treatments and work with diabetic patients looking to preserve their oral health.
Contact us online or by phone at (585) 589-9044 to schedule a consultation appointment with our team today.