Approximately 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every single year (CDC). But did you know that diabetes plays an important role in your oral health? Today, learn about the link between this disease, gum health, and how to prevent common problems.
Diabetes & Oral Health
Statistics show that over 22% of patients diagnosed with diabetes also suffer from periodontal (gum) disease.Here’s some reasons why.
According to the CDC, diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to process food, causing high blood sugar. High blood sugar can weaken white blood cells, which is your mouth’s first line of defense for gum disease.
High sugar levels are also found in your saliva. This results in bacteria in plaque eating the sugar as food. This leads to a greater risk of tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease.
However, the good news is that staying on top of oral health habits can help prevent severe gum disease and other issues.
How to Prevent Oral Health Problems
The CDC recommends the following to help prevent oral health problems in diabetes patients:
- Regular dental visits (Cleanings, X-rays, Checkups)
- Following your diabetes care schedule from your general physician
- Flossing at least once per day
- Brushing twice per day with fluoride toothpaste
- Making a dental appointment if you notice any symptoms that could be caused by diabetes:
- Bleeding gums
- Red/sensitive gums
- Dry mouth
- Loose teeth
- General mouth pain
- Quit tobacco use and smoking
During National Diabetes Awareness Month, you can make an appointment with your dentist to keep your gums in good shape. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to discuss your oral health with a dentist. We’re here for you if you have any questions or concerns. Make an appointment today!