High blood sugar is the link between diabetes and oral health problems. When blood sugar is controlled poorly, oral health problems are sure to develop.
Uncontrolled diabetes will almost certainly weaken the white blood cells in your body, and those white blood cells are the body's main defense against bacterial infections that occur in your mouth.
Why are Individuals with Diabetes More Likely to Develop Oral Health Problems?
If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of having what is called dry mouth. This is where the saliva or spit flow is almost non-existent. Dry mouth is very serious and can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections and tooth decay.
Diabetes puts you at greater risk for gingivitis and periodontitis. Not only does it weaken the white blood cells, but it also causes blood vessels to thicken and this slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth.
When this happens, the body loses its ability to help fight infections. People with diabetes do not heal quickly because blood flow to the treated area can be damaged. If you smoke and have diabetes, you are at even greater risk as smoking seems to impair blood flow to the gums, which affects wound healing in tissue areas.
Those with diabetes have to frequently take antibiotics to fight infections and can experience a burning sensation in the mouth or tongue caused by the presence of thrush which is the glucose levels in the saliva.
How to Help Prevent Oral Health Problems If you Have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, it is vital that you follow good and consistent hygienic practices and be diligent about paying attention to any changes in your oral health. It is especially important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible, make sure that we have a list of all your medications and Dr's name in case any emergencies occur, you should postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control. It is good to remember that healing might take longer with your diabetic condition. If you are wearing braces, be sure to call your orthodontist immediately.
We encourage you to call our office if you are experiencing any problems with your oral health that might be associated with your diabetes. We take your health very seriously and are here to help. Don't hesitate to call us with any concerns whatsoever.
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