The Effects of Diabetes on Oral Health

Effects of Diabetes on Oral Health

Our bodies need glucose in order to function effectively. It provides energy to the brain and other tissues which form all the muscles and organs in the body. Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. It results in the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

It is estimated that 10% of the American population is living with some type of diabetes. To understand the cause of diabetes a person needs to know the type of diabetes they have. However, the result of any type of diabetes is an excess amount of sugar in the blood. This can cause many health problems including a variety of oral health issues.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. There are many health issues to be aware of with regard to your oral and dental health. If you or any of your loved ones have any such concerns, please contact our team at The Sadati Center For Aesthetic Dentistry of Wellington, FL for more information.

Diabetes & Oral Health

Many different health issues may arise due to diabetes. The most common areas affected by diabetes include:

  • Eyes

  • Nerves

  • Kidneys

  • Heart

Doctors often identify diabetes-related health issues in the above-mentioned parts of the body and educate patients about them. However, very few people understand the negative effects of diabetes and its medication on oral health. It can cause many different problems such as periodontal disease or gum disease. If left untreated, these diseases can spread infection in the gums and bones that hold the teeth and cause major problems such as pain, difficulty chewing, chronic bad breath, and tooth loss.

To treat such cases of gum and periodontal infections, you need to find an experienced and well-trained Periodontal Specialist or Periodontist. Our doctors at The Sadati Center For Aesthetic Dentistry have years of experience and the necessary knowledge and training to recognize and effectively treat such diseases. In cases of major damage which requires specialized equipment, we work with Periodontal specialists who can run further diagnostics and provide professional treatment. Our goal at The Sadati Center For Aesthetic Dentistry is to give you proper treatment to restore your healthy and beautiful smile.

How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

  • Inability to self-heal: It is important to understand that diabetes slows your body’s natural healing response to pain and injury. This prevents the smallest issues from presenting themselves. Since your body does not have the ability to self-heal if you have diabetes, these issues can quickly turn into serious conditions which are past the stage where they can be treated with medication or dental intervention.

  • Dry mouth & Thrush: Diabetes increases your risk of dry mouth and thrush. A dry mouth can cause tooth decay, ulcers, and even infections. The increased sugar level of the saliva due to diabetes acts as a catalyst to develop fungal infections such as thrush. Thrush can be treated with mild anti-fungal medication if caught early but may cause serious complications if left untreated.

Do you have Gum Disease?

The key to preventing oral health issues from turning into serious conditions is early diagnosis. If you suffer from diabetes, you have a higher chance of developing gum disease. Some of the signs of gum disease include:

1. Bad Taste: bitter, metallic, or sour taste lingering in your mouth. It may go away temporarily after brushing your teeth but often returns quickly.

2. White Patches: These grow on your gums, on/under your tongue, and inside your cheek. This can be a sign of fungal diseases such as thrush or gingivitis.

3. Dry Mouth: Having dry mouth can be a warning that you can develop gingivitis. However, sometimes, you may also have dry mouth as a side effect of certain medications. Our team can help you deal with these to prevent serious gum disease.

4. Bad breath: Chronic bad breath is one of the first indicators of gum disease. If you develop gum disease, chewing gum and using breath mints will not be able to make the bad smell disappear.

5. Bleeding Gums: if you have periodontal disease, flossing or brushing too hard can cause noticeably more bleeding than normal and can also cause swollen and sensitive gums.

How can you prevent Gum Disease with Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you can prevent many health issues from developing by taking a few simple measures:

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels- It can prevent many oral health issues from escalating.

  • Brush twice a day and floss after every meal.

  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning.

  • Quit Smoking. Smoking can cause dry mouth and worsen existing gum disease.

  • Talk to your dentist about diabetes and any concerns you may have such as experiencing symptoms of gum disease or having sensitive teeth or gums.