How Diabetes Relates To Your Oral Health

9 April 2019
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you are struggling with maintaining your oral health, you might wonder what has changed in your life. You brush your teeth and floss, but you still find yourself suffering from tooth decay. A common reason for this is that you have developed diabetes. By tackling your diabetes, you can also improve your oral health. 

Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that can affect individuals of any age and anyone can develop it. Diabetes is a condition that affects your body's ability to control your glucose levels. When your body has type I diabetes, it does not produce enough insulin. When your body has type II diabetes, it does not respond to insulin in the way it should. Oral warning signs of diabetes include a burning sensation in the mouth, salivary gland enlargement, and several conditions that are associated with oral decay.

The Effects of Diabetes

Diabetes affects your oral health by causing your mouth to not produce enough saliva. Dry mouth is associated with ulcers, soreness, and infections. Normally, when these injuries form, they simply heal. However, when you are suffering from diabetes, these injuries can persist and may become vulnerable to infections. 

A patient who has diabetes is also more likely to suffer from gum disease. Over 1/5 of those who suffer from diabetes also suffer from gum disease. Periodontal disease is substantially more common for those with diabetes than those without it. Gum disease also tends to negatively impact one's ability to manage blood glucose levels. Therefore, treating gum disease can help your body better control blood sugar. 

Treating gum disease requires that a patient have gums that are able to heal. Because of how diabetes impedes the body's ability to heal, patients with diabetes are more likely to find themselves incapable of responding effectively to treatments.

The Role of Dental Services

If you are suffering from diabetes, a dentist will become an important part of your diabetes medical team. If you are not already seeing a dentist regularly, it'll become even more important as you fight to protect your oral health.

In some cases, dental treatments might need to be delayed until your diabetes is in a more stable condition. For example, if you need dental implants, you may need to wait until your diabetes is well controlled. Your dentist will need to coordinate with your primary care physician to make sure that a treatment will be safe to perform.

Reach out to a dentist like Steven Abrams DMD to learn more.