Diabetes affects over 30 million Americans today. Most people know that living with diabetes requires special attention to your health, but did you know this includes special attention to your oral health as well? In fact, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease and other oral health concerns, so it is not an area to be neglected.
The first step to maintaining your oral health is a good oral hygiene routine, this includes:
- Daily brushing and flossing
- Regular dental check-ups
- Controlling your blood glucose levels
People with Diabetes are more prone to some oral health concerns such as:
- Tooth Decay – people with diabetes often suffer from dry mouth and decreased saliva production leading to an increase in the growth of bacteria. Bacteria coating the teeth can create plaque, which releases the acid causing cavities. Sugar consumption increases this risk.
- Early Gum Disease – those with diabetes have a higher risk of early gum disease because they are more susceptible to infection. When plaque develops and isn’t removed promptly, it becomes tartar. Tartar irritates the gum lines and causes gingivitis. When this happens your gums become inflamed and bleed more easily. Those with diabetes are more susceptible to gingivitis because they have a lower resistance to infection.
- Periodontitis – when left untreated gingivitis will spread from the gums to the soft tissue and bone structure of your teeth, this condition is called periodontitis. In addition to tooth loss and increased risk of stroke or heart attack, periodontitis can make it harder to keep your diabetes under control.
Because of the increased risk for oral health problems, it is important to be aware of warning signs for these conditions. Check your mouth regularly and call us at 312.943.6444 or make an online appointment if you notice:
- Bleeding gums
- Dry mouth
- Sore spots
- White patches
- Bad taste in the mouth
If you suffer from diabetes, be sure to let us know. We can provide you with information, accommodate your needs and provide personalized care. Together we can help maintain your healthy smile.