- Oral Symptoms of Diabetes
- Common Diabetes Dental Issues
- Regular Check-ups for Better Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a group of diseases that either prevent the body from making enough insulin or from using the insulin it has made, resulting in high blood sugar levels. It’s estimated that here in Wisconsin, 9% of adults have diagnosed diabetes and 34% have prediabetes, though 22% have yet to be diagnosed.
It’s well known that diabetes can impact many parts of the body, including the eyes, heart, nerves, feet, and kidneys. However, diabetes can also negatively impact the teeth and gums. Below are some common dental health issues that are associated with diabetes. The good news is, learning how to manage these issues can result in better dental health and even better blood sugar levels.
Oral Symptoms of Diabetes
When diabetes is untreated, common side effects are thirst and frequent urination. This occurs because when the kidneys can no longer absorb the extra glucose, it’s secreted into the urine and brings fluid from the tissues with it. This dehydration causes dry mouth, a condition where there is insufficient saliva in the mouth.
Another oral symptom of diabetes is thrush, a fungal infection that can cause white or red patches inside the mouth. Diabetes can also cause gingivitis, where the gums become inflamed and have the tendency to bleed. You may also lose some of your sense of taste.
In children, diabetes can cause teeth to come in prematurely.
Common Diabetes Dental Issues
Untreated diabetes can take a toll on the teeth, gums, and mouth. Dry mouth caused by diabetes can result in several oral problems. Saliva is our body’s method of washing away bacteria and acid from food. When there is an insufficient amount, bacteria builds up in the mouth. This can cause halitosis. It can also result in the buildup of plaque on the teeth, as well as tooth decay.
Dry mouth also makes it easier for gingivitis to develop. Gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, which can even result in tooth loss. Diabetes inhibits the body’s ability to fight infection, making you more susceptible to mouth infection.
Regular Check-ups for Better Blood Sugar
By maintaining your oral health, you can help control your diabetes. Research suggests that treating gingivitis and periodontal disease can help reduce patients’ blood sugar levels.
Keep your teeth and gums healthy in between visits to the dentist by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, using a periodontal mouthwash if recommended by your dentist, and maintaining a healthy, low sugar diet.
Periodontal Maintenance in Madison, Wisconsin
We can support your oral health needs as you navigate a diabetes diagnosis, please contact our offices today. Among other services, Affiliated Dentists offers periodontal maintenance in Madison, Wisconsin.
Diabetes Dental Care brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson