Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Estimates suggest nearly 30 million people living in the United States have diabetes—over 8 million of whom don’t even know they have it. If you or someone you know is living with diabetes, their oral health may be taking a hit.

Nearly 22% of people diagnosed with periodontal disease are living with diabetes. Poor blood sugar control increases the risk for this disease. In fact, infections of the gums can cause a rise in blood sugar, making diabetes harder to control and your mouth more susceptible to invading bacteria.

Additional issues may include:

  • Inflamed gums that bleed often
  • Decreased saliva production resulting in dry mouth (which can cause other issues as well)
  • Issues tasting food
  • Higher susceptibility to infections
  • Thrush, which can lead to a burning mouth and/or tongue

If you also smoke, these issues can be compounded. Some studies suggest you’re upwards of 20 times more likely to develop thrush and periodontal disease if you smoke. Combine that with the potential complications that can arise with diabetes and you’re putting your health in serious risk.

Give your oral health a fighting chance by being rigorous with your blood sugar levels, avoiding smoking, cleaning your dentures every day (if you have them), brushing and flossing twice daily, and being consistent with check-ups.

Regular visits to your dentist are important to keep issues at bay. If you suffer from diabetes and are ready to improve your oral health, make an appointment with us today.