Roughly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, which is a health condition that affects the way your body produces and processes glucose. Left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can cause a number of health issues for your whole body, including your mouth. Below, we take a closer look at how diabetes can affect your mouth, and how treating the condition can help keep your mouth healthy.
Symptoms Of Diabetes That Affect Your Mouth
Diabetes can cause issues in different parts of your body, but one area that often gets overlooked is how it affects your mouth. Diabetes can lead to:
- Decreased saliva production, which can lead to excess plaque or the development of gingivitis.
- An increased risk of cavities due to dry mouth.
- Inhibited ability to taste food.
- Delayed wound healing in your mouth or other areas of your body.
- Increased risk of developing an infection inside your mouth.
- Irregular teeth grow in children with untreated diabetes.
Diabetes is also a contributing factor to a condition known as periodontal disease. This condition is categorized by chronic inflammation of your gums, which can also affect your teeth. More than one in five individuals with diabetes will be diagnosed with periodontal disease, because poor blood sugar control leads to the onset of periodontal disease.
Diabetes and Your Teeth
Your dentist can actually play a crucial role in both the management of dental problems caused by diabetes, and diabetes itself. Research has shown that treating gum disease can help to improve your blood sugar levels, which can slow to progression of the disease. Similarly, regular dental checks and practicing good oral hygiene can help to lower your HbA1c (a baseline test to determine how well you’re managing your diabetes).
Aside from regular office visits, other actions you can take to ensure your oral hygiene and diabetes are properly managed include monitoring and controlling your blood glucose levels, avoiding smoking, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and taking preventative measures to combat dry mouth and plaque buildup.
Smiles for Life Dental
Dr. Brooks works with a number of patients who are managing their diabetes, and he’s always open to talking about the best ways to manage the condition and oral health. If you want more information about oral hygiene and its importance in a comprehension diabetes management plan, reach out to his office at (952) 260-6372 today.