This article from Chesterfield Smile Design is entitled ‘Oral Health For Diabetics.’ Many people with diabetes have dental problems. However, gum disease, tooth loss, and periodontal disease are not unavoidable.
Blood sugar is the complicating factor. Diabetics who control their blood sugar have lower rates of dental problems. In fact, many dentists have noticed no increased risk of dental disease among diabetics who maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
When blood sugar levels rise, the amount of sugars and starches increase in your mouth. These substances combine with the bacteria naturally present to create enamel-eroding plaque. Untreated plaque creates cavities.
In addition to cavities, dental patients with diabetes need to be vigilant about gum health. Because diabetes can make it harder to control the growth of bacteria, the amount of plaque in your mouth can multiply quicker. Plaque not only causes cavities, it inflames and weakens gum tissue and eventually the bone surrounding teeth.
Untreated gum disease progresses to periodontitis, a more severe infection. Because diabetics have a lower resistance to infection, it can be difficult to reverse periodontitis in people with diabetes. To make matters even worse, the presence of infection can make it harder to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Bottom line? 1: Brush and floss regularly to prevent plaque build-up. 2: See your dentist for twice-yearly cleanings to remove any plaque and tartar that has accumulated under the gumline.
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