The Diabetes – Dental Health Connection

Posted by DR. CHRISTINE Y. LEE on Jul 13 2021, 03:20 AM

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process sugar (glucose) and can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. In patients with diabetes, high blood sugar interferes with the white blood cells’ ability to fight infection. Because of this, dental cleanings and exams are especially important for patients with diabetes.

People with diabetes face a higher risk of oral health concerns. In fact, gum disease is the most frequently reported comorbidity associated with diabetes. Experts believe that people with diabetes may be more susceptible to gingivitis because of high blood sugar.

Is there a Connection Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease?

Patients with diabetes often have more difficulty maintaining their oral health. This is due to many factors. One such factor is that people with diabetes have a decreased immune response, making it difficult to fight infections. Diabetes also affects the body’s ability to heal from wounds and injuries.

It’s especially important for those with diabetes to practice good oral hygiene. That’s because it’s much easier for infections to spread throughout the bloodstream and throughout the body. The uncontrolled blood sugar level is a significant cause of periodontal disease. When your blood sugar is out of control, it can cause your white blood cells to attack the bacteria in your mouth. The white blood cells are your body’s way of fighting infection. However, in people with diabetes, the white blood cells attack the gum tissue, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth. When the gums start to pull away from the teeth, pockets form, and these pockets become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Over time, the gums and bone tissues deteriorate, causing tooth loss.

How does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing oral health problems, including cavities. This is because diabetes can interfere with your body’s ability to fight infection. However, there are steps you can take to improve your dental and overall health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day.

This will help prevent cavities and other dental issues.

2. Floss at least once a day.

Flossing helps to remove plaque, a substance that contributes to tooth decay. Plaque also causes gum inflammation.

3. See your dentist regularly.

Dental exams allow your dentist to spot any oral health issues early when they’re most treatable. Your dentist can also offer advice on how to improve your oral health.

When is Periodontal Treatment Recommended?

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that needs to receive immediate treatment. Unfortunately, people with diabetes often suffer from periodontitis, which is a serious complication of diabetes. The infection spreads and gets worse, leading to severe gum and bone tissue loss. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.

So getting regular dental checkups is extremely important for diabetic patients to keep a check on their oral health. If they have any dental issues, then they can be treated in the least invasive way possible at the earliest stage.

Rivermark Dental at Santa Clara is happy to educate and provide exceptional dental treatments to the community. Please schedule an appointment online or call us at 408-988-7788 to have a consultation with our dentist, and we will be happy to assist you further.

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