Controlling Diabetes Makes for Good Oral Health

Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes, and as such they have to deal with being at risk for a slew of complications, including heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. But what they may not know (but their family dentists do) is that diabetes could complicate things with their oral health as well.

According to your family dentist, people with diabetes should practice good blood glucose control for maintaining optimal oral health.

That’s right. High glucose levels can wreak havoc with your mouth. That’s because when diabetes is not managed properly, high glucose levels in your saliva could increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria works on your teeth to produce plaque – plaque that if not removed will eventually calcify into tartar. Tartar, in turn, can cause chronic inflammation in the mouth – and even infection.

Thing is, people with diabetes have a lower resistance to infection. This means they are more likely to suffer from infections of the gum and bone that keeps teeth in their place. This is known as periodontal disease. Those with diabetes are not only more likely to develop periodontal disease, but also they are more likely to develop more severe cases of it due to a lack of blood sugar control. Ultimately, they may lose more teeth than those who keep their blood glucose levels under control.

People with diabetes are also more at risk of contracting fungal infections such as thrush. This is due to having a dry mouth (a symptom of diabetes) combined with increased glucose levels in what saliva that you do have in your mouth. Keep an eye out for white or red patches in the mouth that are sore. These sores could become ulcers. And the infection could spread to your tongue. This could be especially painful and could compromise your ability to swallow. If thrush is an issue for you, see your family dentist, who may prescribe antifungal medication to treat the condition.

By and large, the best way to guard against oral complications against diabetes is to effectively manage your blood glucose levels. And of course, good oral hygiene goes a long way too – brushing and flossing daily, as well as seeing your family dentist regularly for check-ups. And when you do see your family dentist, make sure to be forthright about any medical conditions – including diabetes – that could affect your oral health.

If you’re in need of a family dentist and live in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, we are accepting new patients. So why not schedule an appointment today? We are always excited to welcome new faces and families to our practice!

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