The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted by Dr. Chuks

Oral Health

on May 17 2023, 10:03 AM

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a disease that impacts the way your body uses sugar or glucose as fuel. It occurs when your body is unable to make insulin, which is how the body converts glucose into a form of energy that it can use. When there isn’t enough insulin to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body to use as fuel, blood sugar builds up in the bloodstream instead, causing diabetes and a range of dangerous secondary health problems.

Without treatment, diabetes can lead to devastating complications throughout the body, including poor wound healing, nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease, respiratory issues, and more.

When it comes to oral health, diabetes can play a role in the health of your gums and other important oral tissues. This is because excess glucose in the blood can cause bacteria in the mouth to thrive at a higher rate than normal, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. As a result, people with diabetes are at higher risk for developing gum disease than other patients. For this reason, it’s very important for diabetic patients to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and schedule regular professional cleanings and checkups with their dentist.

Another important thing to remember is that research has shown a link between periodontal disease and diabetes progression overall. This is why it is so important to take care of your teeth and gums if you have diabetes to avoid further health consequences.

More On the Relationship Between Diabetes and Oral Health

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause many health problems with the mouth, such as dry mouth, gingivitis, and tooth decay. Some people with diabetes experience blurry vision as well, which can contribute to an increased risk of eye infections. People with diabetes should visit their dentist twice a year to help care for their mouth and prevent these issues from getting worse.

A dry mouth is a common complication of diabetes because of the high amount of sugar in the saliva. Saliva is a normal part of the digestive process, but too much sugar is damaging to teeth as it increases the amount of acid in the mouth. Acid breaks down the enamel of the teeth, leading to cavities. A dry mouth also causes bad breath. Diabetes can also cause numbness inside the mouth, which can increase the risk of gum disease. Diabetics are also at risk for thrush, a fungal infection that appears on the tongue and insides of the cheeks. Thrush results in white patches on the tongue, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth.

While good oral hygiene is important for everyone, it’s especially important for people with diabetes as they are more prone to developing complications like gum disease. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily can help prevent decay and help keep gums healthy. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help kill bacteria in the mouth and reduce plaque buildup. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods can also help prevent cavities and keep teeth strong. Drinking water, chewing sugar-free gum, and using a straw to prevent liquids from coming in contact with teeth are all great habits to develop in order to reduce the risk of cavities.

If you have any questions about oral health, call us at (281) 972-4747 and schedule an appointment with our dentist. We’ll be happy to help you further.

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