According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. Studies have proven there is a link between diabetes and dental health. Aside from the need for insulin pumps, epi-pens and strict dietary changes to stay healthy, people with diabetes should also include good dental health practices.
How Are They Linked?
In 2012, it was reported that people living with diabetes are…
…twice as likely to develop serious gum disease compared with those who do not have diabetes. Colgate-Palmolive
Gum disease can have a great impact on your diabetic health, as gum disease affects your blood sugar levels. Diabetes also makes gum disease take longer to heal, which causes a real catch-22 in your overall health.
Other issues, such as tooth decay, oral thrush, and dry mouth, have a higher risk within diabetes patients as well. Tooth decay occurs when diabetes that is not controlled increases glucose levels in your saliva, thus increasing bacteria growth and plaque formation.
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that occurs often with those who have an insufficient immune system, often leading to sores and ulcers in the cavity which induces pain and burning sensations.
When blood sugar levels are too high, dry mouth also occurs, which reduces the level of saliva in your mouth, which ultimately encourages more bacterial growth that can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Dental Hygiene & Prevention
There’s no need to panic, though. Taking care of your diabetic health and using good oral hygiene are two important factors that will help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist and check for periodontal health screenings; let your dentist know about your diabetes so that they check more closely for any of the above dental issues associated with it.
Continue checking your glucose levels in your blood and taking preventative care by eating healthy and exercising 30 minutes per day. Reducing any unnecessary stress can also assist with maintaining your blood glucose levels.
Keeping your glucose at a normal level will help prevent bacterial growth within your oral hygiene. Lastly, continue brushing your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, and floss regularly, to ensure good hygiene maintenance.
If you have diabetes and are concerned about your dental health, don’t put off scheduling a dental checkup. We are located in Elmwood Park, IL near Oak Park, Melrose Park, River Forest, Maywood, Franklin Park, and Bellwood, Illinois.