Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body process blood sugar for energy. Without proper management of blood sugar levels, diabetics can develop a wide range of health problems, including issues with their teeth and gums.
Diabetes increases your risk for gum disease, which damages the gums and bone structure around the teeth. Gum disease also increases your blood sugar, making it harder to control diabetes. If untreated, gum disease may even develop into an abscessed tooth or an infection in the gum tissues, which is much harder to treat. In the most severe cases, gum disease can cause a tooth to become loose and eventually fall out!
When gum disease is present, it’s more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugars. This is because, over time, high blood glucose levels weaken the body’s resistance to infection. In fact, research shows that people with poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to develop severe forms of periodontal disease than those with healthy blood sugar levels. But the good news is that you can prevent or treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes by having a healthy mouth. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing daily, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash, and having proper professional care to remove plaque from hard-to-reach places.
When you have diabetes, you need to take extra care of your teeth and gums. The best thing you can do is practice good oral hygiene to keep plaque from forming on your teeth and causing cavities. You should also see your general dentist for routine cleanings and exams. If you have diabetes, your dentist will likely recommend more frequent visits every three to four months so that they can monitor your oral health and prevent any problems from occurring.
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, you should also talk with your medical doctor about any other lifestyle changes you can make to best control your diabetes. Your doctor may recommend weight loss and exercise to you and encourage you to quit smoking if you currently do. All of these changes will help protect you from additional complications caused by diabetes.
Visit Beautiful Dentistry at 2125 E Warner Rd #101, Tempe, AZ 85284, or call us at (480) 831-1700 to learn more about ways to keep teeth healthy.