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Diabetes and Dental Issues

Lack of blood glucose control, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can be the dominant causes of diabetes. This disease stems from causes that can affect all parts of the human body including dental health.

Diabetes has a close relationship with various diseases other than dental health and it can be the lead cause of cardiovascular and kidney problems as well. Case in point, diabetes hinders the ability of the human body to process sugar.

Type-I diabetes affects the body in such a manner that it is unable to produce adequate amounts of the hormone insulin, which is responsible for carrying sugar to organs that utilize it for energy. Type-II diabetes affects the body in such a way that insulin is no longer effective in monitoring the blood sugar levels. This causes blood sugar to spike and causes severe damage to eyes, heart, lung, kidneys and dental health.

In both cases, diabetes sufferers are susceptible to many other health concerns than just diabetes.

Teeth and Diabetes

It is necessary to understand how this chronic illness can be detrimental to dental health. A few symptoms of diabetes include dry mouth and excessive thirst levels. Diabetics also feel the need to urinate excessively and experience higher fatigue levels.

If not treated immediately diabetes can cause dry mouth symptoms in which the salivary glands are unable to produce enough saliva. This also increases the risk of cavities drastically as saliva is the main “cleanser” for your teeth.

Another effect of bleeding gums, is that they may also become swollen and contract gingivitis. In some cases, the taste of food changes and diabetics are unable to experience food like non-diabetics. Cavities, swollen gums or any other dental procedures may take more time than usual to heal completely.

Diabetics are prone to mouth infections and viruses more than normal individuals. In children suffering from diabetes, their teeth do not grow at an earlier age than those of normal children.

Why does diabetes affect dental health in such a manner?

Apart from all the other dental health problems that diabetes can cause, it is also the leading cause of periodontal or gum disease. Those living with diabetes are the most affected by this health complication; almost 22% of gum disease sufferers are diabetic.

Diabetics have poor blood sugar control and this is what makes the gums a breeding ground for bacteria. Infections are easily contracted by diabetics and this causes further haphazard patterns in blood sugar spikes and dives.

What can your dentist do?

Research suggests that regular dental checkups have drastically reduced the number of diabetics suffering from gum disease. Moreover, a good oral hygiene with recommended products from your orthodontist can help control blood sugar levels. Your dentist can perform professional deep cleaning whenever needed and this helps lower HbA1c.

However, this is not just limited to your dentist; you also need to maintain a regimen dedicated to dental hygiene. Especially for those using dentures, regular cleaning is recommended.

What’s the bottom line?

Request an appointment online in our Port Charlotte dentist office here:

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