Diabetes is a serious health condition that can disrupt the normal functions of your body and can even be life-threatening if left untreated. Studies say that diabetes and oral health are closely associated and diabetic patients are likely to be more prone to dental issues.
In this article, our dental team at Lakeview Dental Clinic in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, explains the relationship between oral health and diabetes.
Researchers say that people with type-2 diabetes are three times more likely to develop oral problems. The higher glucose levels in their saliva give oral bacteria a better chance to thrive leading to issues like caries and gum disease.
In addition, people with diabetes often consume more frequent meals during the day. Not following a proper oral care routine after each meal can also lead to dental problems.
People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing the following dental issues:
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to impaired salivary gland functioning causing xerostomia. A dry mouth can lead to loss of taste, ulcers, yeast, and soreness.
Rapid oral bacteria growth caused by high blood sugar levels gives diabetics halitosis.
High blood sugar levels reduce the white blood cell count, affecting your body’s natural defense against oral infections. Since oral diseases are mainly caused by bacterial infections, people with diabetes experience more frequent episodes of gum disease.
Here are a few tips to prevent oral health problems if you have diabetes:
Monitor and keep your blood sugar levels in their target range. The less blood sugar you have, the less likely you are to get the dental problems associated with it.
Clean your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after each meal. You should also ensure regular flossing, use mouthwash, and clean your tongue for better oral hygiene.
There are some areas of your mouth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings to prevent the buildup of bacteria under the gum line or between your teeth.
For more information on the relation between diabetes and oral health, contact Lakeview Dental Clinic at (208) 664-0884 or visit us at 801 Milwaukee Dr., Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814.