Diabetes and Your Oral Health

It’s diabetes awareness month! Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States however many cases are undiagnosed which means it could be a factor in millions of more deaths. Over 1.5 million people, mostly adults, are newly diagnosed each year. Most of these diagnoses can be prevented if people just eat better and exercise more regularly. You may also not know that diabetes can affect your oral health. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  1. Gum disease: When you are diabetic, your body has a difficult time fighting infections. This is especially dangerous for your mouth because the longer you have an infection and the more severe the infection is, the higher the risk is for permanent damage. Without proper care, you can end up losing teeth and destroying the underlying bone structure of your teeth.
  2. Dry mouth: Saliva is your mouth’s most important defense against bacteria and plaque buildup. If your mouth is unable to produce enough saliva, your teeth will be more prone to decaying and your mouth may also become sore and develop ulcers. To get rid of your dry mouth, simply drinking more water may not be enough and you may need to be prescribed antibiotics and/or a medicated mouth rinse.
  3. Thrush and other oral infections: Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus that spreads in your mouth (or other body parts). It usually thrives in warm and wet areas. It’s more common in people who are diabetic because the higher the sugar levels are, the more easily the yeast can grow.

In order to avoid serious oral and dental problems if you have diabetes, make sure you frequently visit the dentist to prevent any problems before they occur. Having stellar oral hygiene can help you avoid or minimize any of the above listed ailments. Eating properly and exercising on a regular basis will also help keep your oral health in check.

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating dental patients for over twenty-five years in the New Fairfield, CT area. If you have any questions call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.