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Diabetes And Dental Health Are Connected

Diabetes And Dental Health Are Connected
  • June 5, 2017

When your insulin is either missing or not working properly, you have diabetes. This comes with several health problems, but with some medication and good habits, you can easily get past it.

However, not many diabetics know that this disease also affects their dental health. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease, cavities, and infection in their teeth.

That’s why you need to call our Nashua, NH dental office today at 603-546-7460 and schedule your next dental exam. Everyone needs a dental exam twice each year, but diabetics need these more than others.

How Diabetes Can Hurt Your Smile

It’s not really having diabetes that’s the problem. It’s the high blood sugar it tends to create. Here are some dental problems that get worse when you have diabetes.

GUM DISEASE

Plaque and tartar are sticky but tough substances created by harmful bacteria on your teeth. When this stuff gets around and below your gumline, it begins to irritate your gums. This irritation soon turns into damage and you get gum disease.

When your blood sugar is high, the bacteria can more easily create plaque and tartar. That means diabetics are at a higher risk of getting gum disease. And because diabetics have a harder time healing up naturally, that means gum disease will have a bigger impact on your smile. Did you know that untreated gum disease can lead to you losing your teeth?

DRY MOUTH

When your blood sugar is out of control, you know it. Not only does it feel unusual, your mouth gets dry and you are more thirsty than normal. That’s because your body is trying to use what water it has to flush out the excess sugar from your bloodstream.

That means your mouth cannot produce enough saliva. That’s a problem because saliva helps wash acid and food particles away from your teeth and gums. This leads to weaker enamel and more cavities because you end up feeding harmful bacteria more.

TOOTH INFECTIONS

Cavities are bad, but what’s worse is when the cavity grows deep enough to penetrate the enamel. When this happens, bacteria can slip inside your tooth and infect it. Diabetics often have problems fighting off infections when your blood glucose is not controlled, meaning you’ll have a worse tooth infection than other people.

Dental Care For Diabetics

In some ways, the dental care for someone with diabetes is similar to those without the disease. You need to keep your teeth clean. But here are a few reminders as well as explanations for how diabetics can improve their dental health.

  • Brush every morning and night: Diabetics really need to keep their teeth clean, more so than other people. That’s because the food particles stuck in your mouth will help those bacteria spread. Brushing twice each day helps control those bacteria so they don’t hurt you.
  • Floss gently every night: Along the same lines, you need to get rid of food particles trapped between your teeth. Flossing does exactly that, but be careful. Floss gently to avoid hurting your gums.
  • Avoid sugary foods: You’re already supposed to do this for your blood sugar, but this can also help lower your risk of gum disease and cavities.
  • Talk to our dentists about your diabetes: Our Nashua dentists are highly trained in dentistry. That means they understand how diabetes can affect your teeth and gums. Explain that you have diabetes so our team can better help you.
  • Visit our Nashua, NH dental office every six months: Regular dental visits are important. Dental cleanings from our hygienists will help reduce plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease. Dental exams can find problems like cavities and gum disease while they are still new and easier to treat.

Call Nashua Family Dentistry today at 603-546-7460 or use our convenient online form to schedule your dental exam. Diabetes does require changes to your lifestyle, but this is a manageable disease. You can help prevent it from ruining your dental health with a couple of minor changes.