Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?
If you have diabetes, you probably know that it can cause other health concerns, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney problems. But what you might not be aware of is that diabetes can also leave you vulnerable to oral health issues, including periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. Because diabetes can cause gum tissue to heal more slowly, consistent preventive care is essential.
The Link Between Diabetes and a Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is one of the side effects of inconsistent blood glucose levels. In addition to feeling uncomfortable, persistent dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, cavities and mouth ulcers. If you are managing your diabetes and still experiencing dry mouth symptoms, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. Next time you’re here, ask us about mints, oral spray or mouthwash made especially for dry mouth.
Dry Mouth Contributes to Thrush
Ongoing dry mouth symptoms can also lead to thrush, a fungal infection that causes painful white patches to develop in the mouth and throat. Call us right away if you see or feel these patches forming.
Preventing Diabetes-related Oral Health Issues
The most important thing those with diabetes can do to prevent it from affecting their oral health is to control blood glucose levels. You’ll also want to maintain a habit of brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Be sure to visit us every 6 months for checkups and cleanings (we’ll be happy to schedule your appointment in advance to stay on track). Let us know if you experience any changes in your condition between appointments.
We know it can be challenging to manage diabetes and its potential side effects and we’d like to help in any way we can. Please call our dental office in Peoria if your condition changes, you start or stop any diabetes medications or if you simply have a question or concern about your oral health. We’re here for you!