Understanding the Relationship Between Oral Health and a Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes diagnoses are growing each and every year. You can’t miss the commercials and and news reports explaining the reasons why, but today we would like to take a look at how a diabetes diagnosis would affect the rest of your health, particularly oral health. From the most basic look, diabetes poses two major risks to oral health: increased risk of gum disease and increased risk of decay.

The Risks
Gum disease and decay are common risks that everyone faces, but diabetes increases those risks. The risk of gum disease is higher because a diabetic patient is less able to resist infections. The risk of decay is higher because diabetic patients are often taking prescription medications that cause dry mouth. Without adequate saliva levels, your mouth cannot clear the harmful bacteria away.

The Protection

The best way to protect any mouth, but especially the mouth belonging to a diabetic patient, is to keep the mouth clean and hydrated. Flossing, brushing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouth rinse at least twice per day will keep your mouth clean. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum, and talk with your doctor about switching prescriptions. You should also plan to come see us at least every six months. We might request that you come in every three to four months, if we notice recurring problems in your mouth.

When you are living with diabetes, you have enough on your plate to worry about without worrying about how to keep your oral health under control. With great preventive measures, you can know that your oral health is in good shape, and you can focus on other things! Contact us today to set up an appointment for your next cleaning and exam. We would love to see you soon, so bring your questions with you!