Diabetes and Oral Health – You Might Be Surprised by This Connection

Diabetes and Oral Health – You Might Be Surprised by This Connection

Jun 01, 2022

If you know anything about diabetes, you understand that it is a critical health problem that can slightly deteriorate every function of your body. The good news is that it is a manageable health issue as long as you seek treatment early. While diabetes can affect many aspects of your health, you should know about its impact on oral health. Patients who disregard the severity of diabetes suffer significant oral problems.

What Is the Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health?

The connection between diabetes and oral health is one that many medical experts have taken an interest in, trying to come up with the best solutions. The relationship between them regards high blood sugar. When the blood sugar levels in your body are out of control, you will encounter several oral problems. Besides that, dentists in Oxnard, CA, have found that diabetes severely weakens the body’s immune system, decreasing its ability to fight against bacteria that cause oral infections.

Oral Complications of Diabetes – How Can You Protect Your Oral Health?

To better understand the relationship between diabetes and oral health, dental practitioners at Oxnard dental group have come up with the following list of dental complications likely to occur among patients with diabetes. They include:

  1. Dry mouth syndrome – a dry mouth occurs when you have inadequate saliva in your oral cavity. Diabetes can decrease the production of spit, leaving your mouth dryer than usual. A dry mouth results in several oral problems, including a high risk of dental cavities, mouth infections, ulcers, and mouth sores.
  2. Gingivitis and periodontitis – are terms that describe different stages of gum disease. Gingivitis speaks of the early stage of gum disease, usually presenting few and manageable symptoms. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a more severe stage of gum disease that compromises the health of the soft tissues, affecting the stability of teeth. Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken while weakening the white blood cells in your body. Such a combination of issues significantly deteriorates the body’s ability to fight against infections, including gum disease.
  3. Fungal infections – although bacterial infections are more common in oral cavities, you can also grow fungus in your mouth. Diabetic patients are prone to oral fungal infections due to high glucose levels in their mouths.
  4. Slowed healing – treatment for mouth sores and oral infections relies on the body’s ability to heal quickly. Diabetes worsens the speed of healing, making it hard for mouth sores and wounds to close up. Having an oral surgery as a diabetic patient may prove risky because of the poor healing, which is necessary for a successful surgical procedure.

Effects of Diabetes on Oral Health: Why Is It Important to Regularly See a Dentist If You Have Diabetes?

When you have diabetes, it is crucial to see a dentist regularly because you understand your heightened risks of oral conditions. Some of the factors that make regular dental visits vital for diabetic patients are:

  1. Good oral hygiene practices – at Dentistry by Sea Bridge, we prioritize oral hygiene for all patients, but more so if you have diabetes. The goal is to minimize bacteria growth in your mouth that may result in cavities and other dental infections. Deep cleaning sessions and other tips for excellent oral hygiene at home will help prevent plaque buildup on teeth, significantly reducing the risk of dental cavities.
  2. Control blood sugar – although other medical experts can help you manage your blood sugar, a dentist can get the job done well enough. Your dentist will also recommend behavioral changes you must make to support healthy living.
  3. Treating periodontal disease – since you have a high likelihood of gum disease, you should seek treatment early. Do not leave any room for the infection to advance into periodontitis which can cause premature tooth loss, among other oral problems.
  4. Find alternative dental treatment – when invasive surgical procedures are not a good idea for you, your dentist can help come up with alternative dental protocols to treat your oral problems.
  5. Post-treatment instructions – you have to be keen on following your dentist’s after-care guidelines after any dental procedure. The reason is that healing takes longer when you have diabetes.