The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects how the body regulates blood sugar. In a healthy body, insulin is released when sugar is consumed. The insulin acts as a messenger to tell cells to take in glucose. For most individuals with diabetes, though, their pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t release any at all. This results in elevated blood sugar levels in the blood. Over time, this can cause serious damage to the mouth and the gums.

What Are the Signs of Diabetes?

Your dentist is trained to identify early signs of diabetes, such as the dry mouth. If you have diabetes and suddenly your mouth becomes unusually dry, be sure to let your dentist know. A dry mouth can be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes or of another problem entirely. Your dentist can work with you to diagnose and treat any oral problems you may be experiencing. They can also offer suggestions and advice regarding proper oral hygiene for diabetics. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have about your oral health with your dentist. Don’t ignore changes to your teeth and gums—seek out professional assistance as soon as you notice anything unusual.

How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease and have gum recession that exposes sensitive tooth roots. Gum disease causes inflammation in the gum tissue, leading to bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. When bacteria are allowed to grow in the mouth, they can cause infections.

This bacterial infection can travel through the bloodstream and lead to other health problems like heart and kidney disease.

To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene habits and visit the dentist regularly for preventative care. The longer someone is living with diabetes, the worse the potential damage will be. This is because prolonged high blood glucose levels can weaken the bones and connective tissues in the mouth. This can result in tooth loss, gum disease, and even bone loss in the jaw. The best way to avoid these complications is to carefully follow the treatment plan recommended by your dentist. These can include regular checkups as well as cleanings and exams.

Scheduling an appointment every six months is important for catching any problems early on, which will allow them to be treated before they progress and cause additional issues. With good dental care, your risk of problems can be greatly reduced.

In addition to visiting the dentist regularly, it is also essential that diabetics practice excellent oral hygiene at home. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily are essential to remove plaque buildup and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can provide you with personalized recommendations based on your needs. For more tips, visit the ADA’s official website here.

In order to protect your mouth from the effects of diabetes, you need to schedule regular appointments with a dentist who can provide proper care and oversight for your oral health needs. 

Visit Homeland Avenue Dentistry at 1037 Homeland Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405, or call (336) 272-0132 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our team!


1037 Homeland Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405

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Phone: (336) 272-0132