Diabetics & Oral Health

Smiling woman with glucose meter showing thumbs up

If you suffer from diabetes, you have many things to consider aside from your blood sugar as diabetes can affect a wide variety of aspects of your health. In fact, your oral health can directly impact how your body reacts to diabetes. If you do not take care of your diabetes and your oral health, you could suffer serious consequences.

Higher Risk of Cavities

Your blood sugar levels can directly impact the number of cavities you have to deal with throughout your illness. If your blood sugar levels get too high, that leaves a large amount of sugar in your mouth. When these sugars combine with the bacteria that already resides in your mouth, it creates acids that begin to eat away at your enamel. If your blood sugar levels are always high, your risk for tooth decay is greatly accelerated.

Higher Risk of Gum Disease

When you have diabetes, your body is unable to fight diseases like it otherwise would. This means that you are more susceptible to gum disease. This disease occurs when plaque builds up not only on your teeth, but at and beneath the gum line as well. There are two forms of gum disease:

– Gingivitis – The earliest form of gum disease which is reversible if it is caught early enough and the right steps are taken.

– Periodontitis – This is the most dangerous form of gum disease and occurs as a result of gingivitis not being cared for. This disease can cause your gums to recede, your bones to become resorbed by your body, and your teeth to eventually fall out.

Generally, diabetics have lower levels of saliva production in addition to the problems it causes throughout their body, making it very difficult to fight the damages that it can cause to your oral health. It is very important to have regular check-ups, at least once every six months, but sometimes more often if your blood sugar is not under control. If you need help keeping your blood sugar regulated, it is vital that you see your doctor in order to prevent the issues that can occur down the road.