Did you know that our oral health can significantly affect our overall health? The reverse is also true; our overall health can impact our oral health. Chronic conditions, medications, and lifestyle choices can all leave a trace in the mouth. Diabetes is no exception.
Because the symptoms of diabetes may be subtle, many people with this disease aren’t aware they have it. In fact, one in four Americans with diabetes doesn’t know they have it.
Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. Because individuals diagnosed with diabetes have high glucose levels, they often have problems with their teeth and gums. Why? Increased glucose helps bacteria thrive because glucose is basically sugar. That’s why dental care for diabetics is so important.
Dentists can help these individuals gain awareness around their overall health.
As a dentist, asking patients with serious gum disease about their family and personal medical history can help steer them to their primary care physician for help. As a patient, don’t hesitate to inform your dentist about your personal and family health history because about 22 percent of people with diabetes also have gum disease.
Diabetics who get more frequent teeth cleanings have lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, people with diabetes who have good control of their blood sugar are less apt to develop these problems.
Other signs of diabetes that can be present in the mouth include:
- Sore or loose teeth
- Fungal mouth infections
- Mouth ulcers
- Dry mouth