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What to Know: Diabetes and Your Oral Health

If you have diabetes, you’re probably already aware that this disease can affect many different parts of your body. Your mouth is no exception. Diabetes can increase your risk for dental problems, especially if it isn’t well controlled. Learning about the ways that it can affect your oral health will help you spot problems early on so that you take action and seek treatment.

How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

People with uncontrolled diabetes have a greater risk of experiencing many oral health problems, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased amount of plaque
  • Food tasting bland
  • Wounds taking a long time to heal or unable to heal
  • Increased risk of infection

Many of these problems can lead to more serious complications. For instance, dry mouth results from having less saliva. Because saliva protects your teeth, having less of it means you may get cavities more easily. Similarly, increased plaque can lead to tooth decay.

Diabetes and Gum Disease 

Gum disease is a particularly common problem for people dealing with diabetes. That’s because it increases vulnerability to gum disease in several different ways. Diabetes thickens blood vessels which weakens gum and bone tissue’s ability to respond to infections. Moreover, many bacteria feed on sugar, so when your blood sugar levels are elevated more bacteria are able to thrive.

How To Prevent Dental Problems Caused By Diabetes

In order to avoid experiencing dental problems caused by high blood sugar, you need to control your blood sugar levels and practice good oral hygiene. Talk to your doctor about the steps you can take to manage your blood sugar, which includes being careful about what you eat and exercising regularly. To keep your mouth healthy, you should also brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. It’s also important to schedule regular visits to your dentist.

Schedule An Appointment

Dr. James Wooddell and Dr. Joe Passaro can identify and treat oral problems that may be related to uncontrolled diabetes. Let us restore your oral health with a personalized treatment plan. To schedule an appointment at our Davidsonville, MD dental office,  call (410) 343-7075 or schedule an appointment online.