How Diabetes impacts your dental health
Posted by Dr. Lee May 30, 2022
Diabetes has emerged as one of the most common diseases among adults. It not only causes severe damage to our major organs but also slowly affects almost all other organs of the body. If you are diabetic you need to take special care of your major organs, such as the heart, liver, kidney, and your eyes.
However, other than these major organs there are a few more that can be severely affected due to your high blood sugar levels if not taken care of in time. One of the things that get neglected and gradually get affected, due to a high blood sugar level, is your dental health.
- Diabetes can be extremely harmful to your oral and dental health if not taken extra care of. One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is the ‘dry mouth’ condition. The lack of saliva present in your mouth can lead to bacteria buildup. This can speed up tooth decay and cause other gum diseases.
- Having a dry mouth or high blood sugar level in your body can also cause bacteria and fungus to build in your mouth. Bacteria and fungus buildup always speed up if you have elevated sugar levels in your saliva. On top of that, if you are consuming more starchy products in your daily diet you are more likely to have a fungal or bacterial infection in your mouth. All of these can lead to gum disease.
- If you are diabetic and you just had dental procedures done, you need to be extra careful. Diabetes causes damage to the white blood cells which are essential for healing and fighting diseases. If you had a dental procedure done and have high blood sugar it can slow down the healing process. This can lead to serious gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
- High blood sugar for a longer period can cause the thickening of the blood vessels in our body. This is one of the prime reasons for heart disease among diabetic patients. However, this can also affect your oral and dental health. As the blood vessels become thick it fails to carry enough nutrients. If enough nutrients don’t reach your gums you are more likely to encounter gum diseases. It can even lead to gum bleeding and more importantly, severe issues like gingivitis or periodontitis.
Preventive measures you must follow
- Maintaining your blood sugar levels is the most important thing to avoid any kind of health issues. Be in regular checkups with your physician and control your diet.
- Avoid starchy food as much as possible. Wash your mouth every time you have a meal.
- If you are having a dental procedure done on your teeth, inform your dentist about you being a diabetic. Though, most dentists would examine your blood sugar levels before having any procedures done but informing beforehand is always recommended.
- Brush twice a day and floss once every night after dinner. Flossing can be very helpful to keep any leftover food particles off of your teeth. This reduces the chances of bacteria or fungal infections in your mouth.
- Drink enough water everyday day to avoid any dry mouth symptoms.
If you are diabetic it is highly recommended to visit your physician regularly to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Also, occasionally have a thorough check-up of your overall health to detect any growing health problems due to diabetes.