Diabetes and dentistry: Two issues which go hand-in-hand

If you happen to hear a conversation about diabetes – you could be forgiven for not realizing it can have a direct impact on your mouth. Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct link between diabetes and your teeth.

This correlation was mentioned in an article by a Dorset dentist which led to further exploration. Here, it was outlined how there are two problems which can occur as a result of diabetes. The topic has been investigated in more detail to put together the following guide. This takes a look at both of the problems which were highlighted in the initial article, before embarking on some top tips to make sure you don’t become part of the unlucky group who is affected.

Problem #1 – Periodontal disease

Few people will have heard of the condition known as periodontal disease, but if you suffer from diabetes you are very much at risk. People who don’t control their diabetes effectively can experience an increase in the glucose concentrates in their blood. In turn, this can cause tissue in the gums (and various other parts of the body for that matter) to inflame.

Over time, this inflammation will result in the gum breaking down. Eventually, this will create a pocket in the mouth – the prime area for bacteria to form. Unsurprisingly, this is a recipe for disaster and the bacteria can start to cause all sorts of problems and infections, prompting periodontal disease.

Problem #2 – Decay

This second problem is probably a little more understood, for the simple reason that tooth decay affects everyone.

While it does affect the masses, anyone suffering with diabetes is even more at risk. This is because there is even more glucose in their mouth, which can cause bacteria to build up much more quickly.

What can you do to safeguard against both problems?

With 22% of people with diabetes suffering from periodontal disease alone, it’s obvious that this condition can promote a lot of teeth and gum related issues.

Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard against these issues. It goes without saying that the most obvious method is to just control your blood sugar levels – which will obviously benefit your body in umpteen other ways, not just related to your teeth.

However, from a pure dental perspective, there are also steps to take. If you currently wear dentures, these can quickly become saturated with glucose and therefore must be cleaned daily. At the same time, you can brush-twice-per-day as well floss at least once every day.

Finally, those people who suffer from diabetes are advised to visit the dentist a little more frequently. If you can stay on top of your teeth, and perhaps turn towards a hygienist a couple of times per year, the chances of diabetes taking over your gums are significantly diminished.

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