Posted on 5/15/2019 by Robert Henshaw, DMD
|Diabetes is a serious health condition that can affect multiple areas of your body and disrupt their normal functions. The condition is related to the body's ability to control sugar production. But how does that relate to your oral health?
The American Dental Association notes that almost 22 percent of people with diabetes have gum disease and a high proportion of people with tooth loss have diabetes. You may wonder how high levels of sugar in your body can impact your gums when you regularly brush your teeth and floss. We have seen patients that don't understand this connection.
But if you realize that your gums and other damaged tissues in your mouth can allow bacteria to get into your bloodstream, you should also understand that this provides a gateway for the detrimental effects of your diabetic condition.
What Is the Connection?
When your body produces too much sugar, it also increases the amount of sugar and starches in your mouth. Sugar and starch are like food for the bacteria in your mouth. Increased sugar and starch in your mouth increases the availability of “food” for the bacteria in your mouth to grow. This bacterium then attacks your teeth and your gums. This leads to loss of enamel on your teeth, which accelerates decay and makes your gums more susceptible to bacterial infection.
As a diabetic, you know that you are already more susceptible to bacterial infections since diabetes compromises your immune system. This combination increases your risk of developing gum disease. The reverse is also true. Gum disease can increase a diabetic's risk of infection.
For these reasons, the American Dental Association recommends that diabetics visit their dentist twice a year. A bi-annual visit can give us a better chance of noticing problems early and beginning treatment before it can adversely affect your diabetes. Please contact us for more information.
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