How Diabetes Affects Your Dental Health

Jun 26, 2013

Diabetes is an ailment that affects the whole body — and that includes your oral health. Many everyday people, as well as those diagnosed with some form of Diabetes, are unaware of the fact that Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on your oral health without proper care. However, because of the higher than normal blood sugar and the difficulty a person with Diabetes has regulating these abnormal levels, they are often at an increased risk of several dental issues.

 

Dental Risks of Diabetes

 

  • Dry Mouth — Anyone suffering from Diabetes can tell you that a frequent side effect of high blood sugar is an increased level of thirst. Along with this, that means that your mouth frequently is drier than the mouth’s of most other people. Dry mouth can lead to a number of potential dental issues because salivary production helps combat tooth decay and keeps plaque production in check.

  • Tooth Decay — High blood sugar applies to your mouth, too. Patients with Diabetes typically have higher levels of sugars and starches in their mouth — just waiting to be turned into acidic byproducts that decay teeth.

  • Gum Disease — Those with Diabetes are at higher rates of infections, and that applies even to parts of your body in your mouth — including your gums. In addition to increased levels of sugars in your mouth and bacteria, Diabetes sufferers have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to gum disease. To top this off, Diabetes can naturally inflame the gums more than normal as a result of the side effect of thickening the blood vessels more than usual.

  • Slower Healing — Whether as a result of an oral surgery or because you started to floss again and your gums are bleeding, a negative consequence of Diabetes is a slower rate of healing of tissues. This can lead to a number of issues.

 

The best measures a person with Diabetes can take to ensure good dental health is to maintain good, routine dental hygiene as well as regularly visit his or her dentist and let them know about any concerns of maintaining good oral health alongside Diabetes. If you have further questions regarding maintaining good oral health with Diabetes, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, feel free to contact the Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry office.