Diabetes and Dental Problems

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you undoubtedly have made lifestyle changes to reduce and maintain your blood sugar. The back story of diabetes is what it can do to your teeth. Did you know that diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease, and are much more likely to lose their natural teeth than non-diabetics?

This is true. Blood sugar issues impact diabetes patients in more ways than just insulin dependency or sugar restriction. Only you can control future dental problems, but the first line of defense is to control your blood glucose level. First up? Take good care of your teeth and gums by daily brushing and flossing. Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food and beverages interact with that same bacteria, a sticky film, or plaque, forms on your teeth. The acids in the plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth which can lead to tooth decay. The higher your blood sugar level; the more likely that sugar acid will degenerate your teeth.

Plaque, which contains bacterial colonies, must be removed with brushing and flossing or it will harden on your gum line. The longer that bacteria remains on your teeth, the more the tissue around each tooth will be irritated. This condition is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis becomes a more serious infection called periodontitis. Your soft tissue will become inflamed and eventually the bones that support your teeth pull away from them; causing teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. We have found that people with diabetes are more likely to contract periodontal disease and lose their natural teeth.

Bottom line? Diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows the healing process, especially when it comes to your mouth.

What can you do? Have regular checkups at our office at least every six months. Diabetics have special dental needs and we are equipped to meet them! Please let one of our hygienists or Dr. Petrusha know of any changes in your condition and any medication you might be taking. Above all other things; we care about you and your oral health.

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