Diabetes is a disease that has become more and more prevalent in the last decades. More and more Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and it has many negative effects. Diabetes is where your body can’t properly control blood glucose levels. Regardless of what type of diabetes someone has, it will affect their oral health in multiple ways.
How it impacts your oral health
One of the most common issues people with diabetes experience is dry mouth, which is caused by a lack of saliva. Saliva is important for multiple reasons, but the most important is that it flushes away food, acids, and bacteria. Without saliva, these particles will stay in your mouth and can cause tooth decay. This is the main reason that people that have diabetes tend to have more cavities. Diabetes also causes wounds not to heal quickly, which makes oral surgery less possible due to slow healing time. They are also more open to infection and will require more care to prevent infection or complications.
Gum disease and diabetes
Nearly 22% of those that suffer from diabetes have periodontal disease. This is because people with diabetes are 4 times more likely to develop gum disease. High blood sugar levels increase the risk of gum disease, and some research has found that gum disease can impact a person’s ability to maintain a good blood glucose level. Gum disease is important to prevent since it can cause bleeding, difficulty chewing, and even tooth loss. Because diabetes can make you heal slowly, it can make it tough to treat gum disease. You should work closely with your dentist to ensure that your mouth is properly taken care of, and you are working to prevent gum disease.
Implants and bridges
As we mentioned above it is easier to lose teeth when you have diabetes, which normally would mean you need to get implants or bridges. The problem is that since your gums will heal slowly, it makes it really tough to get implants. This doesn’t mean you don’t have options, you just need to talk to your dentist and see what options will be available to you. However, your dentist will be looking for a stable blood glucose level when considering doing surgery.
If you do have diabetes you need to make sure that you let your dentist know, so they can better assist you and protect your oral health. They will need to create a customized approach to your oral health care. One of the best things you can do is control your blood sugar levels. This will allow for more options when it comes to oral health care.