Diabetes and Dental Disease

Diabetes is a complex disease and one area where we see the affects is in the teeth and gums. Dental disease and diabetes often go hand in hand.

Diabetes and gum disease are a two-way street. Diabetes makes it more likely that you will develop gum disease and, having gum disease means it is harder for you to control your blood sugar!

Here’s how the system works. When you have high blood sugar from your diabetes your saliva and mouth fluids have high sugar levels as well. This feeds the bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria grow in in dental plaque which in turn irritates your gums and can cause gum disease. Bacteria is also responsible for tooth decay. High blood sugar has also been proven to make gum disease get worse much faster than in those who don’t have diabetes.

Good blood sugar control is essential to maintaining good overall and oral health for diabetic patients. Because diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease it is important to visit your dentist regularly. While most patients are recalled at 6 month intervals, patients with difficult to control diabetes may need more frequent visits. Remember to call your dentist immediately if you experience:

  • Red, swollen or sore gums
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Dentures that don’t fit right
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss

If you are pre-diabetic it is also important to maintain good oral health. If it has been a while since your last visit please contact Dr. John Highsmith in Clyde, NC today at 828-627-9282 to schedule your next visit.

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Posted in: Oral Health, Periodontal Disease

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