How Diabetes Impacts Your Oral Health

If you have diabetes, you need to be concerned about how the disease affects your health. Unfortunately, diabetes affects the body in many ways, including your oral health.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes is closely associated with gum disease in all of its stages. Gingivitis is the first stage, and it develops when bacteria cause the gums to bleed, redden, and feel sore.

If your diabetes is uncontrolled, there is excess sugar in your saliva, which is a feast for bacteria. This will cause the problem to worsen with time, and without intervention, it may lead to the more severe periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a serious issue, and it can lead to erosion of the tissues and bone that support the teeth. The gums may pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where the bacteria have even easier access to the jawbone. Unfortunately, oral hygiene alone can’t fix this problem, and you’ll need your dentist’s help to recover.

Diabetes and Dry Mouth

Diabetes can also reduce the saliva in your mouth, which can raise your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. You’ll experience dry feelings in your mouth, cracked lips, and mouth sores. Your dentist may have to prescribe specialized medication to increase your saliva, but you should also take care to avoid cavities by using a fluoride mouth wash.

Diabetes and Thrush

Many patients with diabetes also experience oral thrush, which is a growth of naturally occurring fungus that your body isn’t able to control. It is characterized by sore, white patches on the gums, cheeks, tongue, or roof of the mouth. For treatment, you’ll need medicine to kill the fungus.

If you have diabetes, you need to visit your dentist regularly to have your oral health examined. Call us today to set up your next appointment. We’ll create a treatment or preventive plan to best support your oral health.