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How Oral Health is Affected by Diabetes!

Diabetes is a major factor causing Gingivitis and Periodontitis

THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION estimates that 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes (including type 1, type 2, or gestational). At least another 8 million remain un-diagnosed, and that doesn’t even include the additional millions who are considered to be on the brink.

Diabetes And Gum Disease

Diabetes is a chronic disease that either means the pancreas isn’t producing insulin (type 1) or that the body isn’t using it effectively (type 2 and gestational), both of which can cause elevated blood glucose levels. The most serious impact of elevated blood glucose level has on oral health is that it weakens the body's immune system and provides more food to the bacteria that attack teeth and gums.

This two-pronged attack is why 23% of diabetics also have gum disease, whether in the in the advanced stages (periodontitis) or early stages of inflammation (gingivitis) that threaten the gums, teeth, and supporting bone tissue. Bacteria that cause gum disease can also travel through the bloodstream & make it harder to regulate blood sugar.

In addition to increasing the risk of periodontitis & gingivitis, uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a variety of other oral health problems, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Impaired or slower healing
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Increased frequency & Severity of infections
  • Causes Fungal infections
  • Causes Salivary gland enlargement
Oral Health in Diabetes Patients

What can one Do?

The good news is that even for patients with diabetes, good oral health can be maintained. Even better, keeping your gums & Teeth healthy will also make it easier to manage diabetes! Make sure you brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes with a soft-bristled brush plus a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily or use a inter-dental brush or a water flosser, use a non-alcoholic mouthwash, and don’t smoke.

The Role of Dentist

If one has been diagnosed with diabetes, going for regular two dental exams per year will not be enough.We recommend that you must consult your dentist and increase the number of yearly visits to at least three or four as advised to you by the dentist. It is also crucial for your dentist to know how you and your diabetologist are working to get it under control. Likewise, your diabetologist needs to know how is your dentist working with you to keep your gums & Teeth healthy.

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