Diabetes is a condition affecting up to 100 million Americans, making it one of the biggest health concerns facing the U.S.. While it can be managed with a change in diet and prescription medication, there is also a role for your dental practitioner. They will be able to tell from examining your mouth whether you are at risk and can perform procedures to stabilize blood sugar levels. Poor dental health can tell you so much more about your health than just the condition of your teeth and has been linked not just to physical conditions but also to poor mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist if they see any other health concerns during a dental checkup, particularly having to do with diabetes.
The Link Between Diabetes and Dental Diseases
Even if a doctor hasn’t diagnosed you with diabetes, you should ask your dentist if they think you’re at risk. Some of the main symptoms and earliest signs of diabetes show up in the mouth. You may have a dry mouth and feel a constant thirst, which your dentist should be able to pick up on during a check up. This lack of saliva in your mouth will make you vulnerable to cavities, so needing fillings could also be a sign of diabetes.
If you regularly experience cuts or bleeding gums, this could be a sign of a health condition. This is especially true if they take a long time to heal. Diabetes slows down the ability of your body to heal from wounds, so a dentist might be able to recommend a doctor’s appointment if you keep returning with mouth injuries.
Treating Gum Disease
Receiving treatment for diabetes ultimately comes from a medical doctor and in some cases such treatment can lead to increased cardiovascular problems. Even so dentists have an active role, as effectively treating gum disease can improve your body’s ability to control the production of sugar in the blood. Those living with diabetes have a significantly increased chance of developing periodontal disease. This is because a blood sugar imbalance makes it difficult for the body to fight off the bacteria living in the gums.
Healthy gums are essential to the management of blood sugar levels. If you can regularly go to the dentist, then they can treat gum disease and improve your oral health. This can prevent diabetes occurring and help you to manage the condition if it arises.
Between Dental Appointments
Every time you visit your dentist, you will receive a deep clean to help prevent diabetes. However, you have a responsibility between dental appointments. Make sure you brush properly at least twice a day and floss regularly to keep your gums healthy and protected from bacteria.
Diabetes in an extremely common condition, so it is useful to take in as much information around the subject as possible. Many of the symptoms start in the mouth, which is also where the condition can be managed. Brush regularly and get dental check ups often to look out for warning signs of diabetes and keep the body protected.
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