Most people living with diabetes already know that it can affect the body in many different ways; this includes causing problems in your mouth. Diabetes increases your chance of developing many dental issues, especially if it isn’t well controlled. However, by learning about the connections between oral health and blood sugar levels you can take steps to keep your mouth healthy.
How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?
If you have high blood sugar, you have an increased risk of experiencing problems such as:
- Xerostomia- Also known as dry mouth, xerostomia occurs when you have a reduced amount of saliva in your mouth; this can lead to a persistent sore throat, a burning sensation in your mouth and difficulty speaking and swallowing. Because saliva also helps protects your teeth, dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay.
- Cavities– When your diabetes is uncontrolled, sugar levels go up in your saliva as well as your blood. This extra sugar in your saliva feeds the bacteria that is naturally present in your mouth, causing more plaque to develop. This sticky film attacks your teeth and can lead to cavities.
- Gum disease– Diabetes weakens your body’s ability to fight off any type of infection. As a result, people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, a bacterial infection of the tissue and bone structure that surrounds teeth. Gum disease can make your gums red, swollen and prone to bleed easily. If left untreated, it can also lead to tooth loss.
How to Protect Your Oral Health
You can avoid developing problems with your teeth and gums by controlling your diabetes and practicing good oral hygiene. To get your diabetes under control, monitor your blood sugar levels and follow all of your doctor’s instructions. Exercising regularly and eating a nutritious diet will also help.
In order to keep your mouth healthy, start by maintaining the basic habits of good oral hygiene, like brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day. Your dentist can also help. Be sure to visit Dr. Nadder Hassan regularly for checkups and teeth cleanings. You can let him know that you have diabetes and talk to him about any concerns you may have.
Schedule An Appointment
Keeping your mouth healthy can be a challenge when you have diabetes, but Dr. Hassan can help. At Manassas Smiles, we’re passionate about providing the highest level of dental care for our patients. To schedule an appointment at our Manassas VA dentist office, call (703) 335-1020 or request an appointment online.