How could Diabetes affect my Dental Health?

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It is surprising for many to learn that recent studies indicate that those who suffer from diabetes also have an increased rate of gum problems along with the many other complications associated with the disease. Research also indicates that not only is diabetes more likely to contribute to the prevalence of gum disease but gum disease can likewise add to the progression of diabetes by affecting the blood glucose levels. The main gum problems associated with diabetes include gingivitis and the much more serious periodontitis. It is thought that diabetes sufferers have an acute vulnerability to gum disease as they are prone to bacterial infections. In addition, diabetes can often affect the sufferer’s ability to fight off the bacteria which is responsible for gum problems. This means it is vital for those with diabetes to care for their oral health with regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups.

There is an especially increased risk of gum disease if the blood glucose levels of the sufferer are not controlled properly. However, all diabetics are at an increased risk of developing gum disease than non-diabetics. Gum disease is a type of infection, and infections have the potential to cause a rise in blood sugar levels, meaning the sufferer's diabetes becomes much harder to manage.

There are also a range of other oral problems which research indicates may be influenced by diabetes. Examples include oral thrush, a dry mouth, ulcers, infections and increased instances of cavities. Fortunately, if you have a decent control over the level of your blood glucose then the risk will decrease. Similarly, it is important to take extra care of your teeth by avoiding smoking or ingesting too many sweet or acidic foods.

It is important to inform your dentist that you have diabetes, as sufferers often have special dental requirements. Make sure to keep your dentist updated about any alterations to your condition and any prescribed medications you are taking.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »