Dalton general dentistIn the U.S., diabetes is a serious problem. Today, more than 29 million people in the country have diabetes, and 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes (their blood sugar is higher than normal and without lifestyle/diet changes, they will likely go on to develop diabetes). If you or a loved one is diabetic, it’s crucial that you pay special attention to your oral health. While diabetes can affect many different areas of the body and organs, your mouth is an especially vulnerable environment.

Boost your awareness by learning more about diabetes and how it could affect your teeth and gums. When you know what to watch out for, you’re less likely to experience periodontal disease, and it’s easier to reverse negative effects. As always, schedule regular dental exams so that Dr. Barton can make sure everything looks good, and that gingivitis isn’t lurking at your gum line.

How Diabetes Affects The Mouth

  • Periodontal disease – When your blood sugar is fluctuating, high glucose levels in your saliva can encourage bacteria growth (which is the opposite of what normal saliva does). This impacts gum irritation and heightens your risk of gum disease, especially quickly-developing and advanced gum disease.
  • Dry mouth – Diabetes can also cause dry mouth, in which there is not enough saliva present to keep the teeth and gums moist and rinse away harmful bacteria. Dry mouth makes the mouth prone to decay and gum disease.
  • Delayed healing – Diabetics may see different issues with healing throughout their bodies, and this extends to the mouth. If you do have an oral infection, it will take longer to resolve.

What to Do to Stay Healthy

  • Keep your glucose levels consistent
  • Brush twice a day and floss once a day to remove plaque at the gum line
  • Schedule regular exams (depending on your risk of gum disease, we may want to see you more than every six months)
  • Be vigilant and know the symptoms of gingivitis/periodontal disease
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