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The Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted by CREEK FAMILY DENTISTRY May 23, 2023

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Diabetes is a medical condition that can lead to many health complications. Diabetes affects the body's ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugars, starches, and other food into energy. If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much sugar in your blood, although the type (1 or 2) and severity vary. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. Diabetes can cause serious health complications, including problems with your eyes, heart, nerves, and kidneys.

How People With Diabetes Are More Susceptible to Oral Health Issues

It should come as no surprise that diabetes comes with many health risks, including increased risk of gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, and even systemic infections. These problems are caused in part by the blood glucose levels associated with diabetes, which increase the body's susceptibility to infection. This risk is even higher for people who have uncontrolled diabetes and poor blood sugar control.

However, diabetics can also have trouble maintaining good oral health through no fault of their own – some symptoms of diabetes can actually make it more difficult to maintain oral hygiene, such as dry mouth or burning mouth syndrome. Some medications also cause side effects like increased saliva production or dry mouth, both of which make keeping your teeth clean and free from bacteria more difficult.

One common complication of diabetes is periodontitis, also known as gum disease. This is because high blood glucose can cause blood vessels to become inflamed, leading to bleeding gums or possibly losing teeth due to advanced periodontal disease. Those with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have severe forms of periodontitis than those with good control of their blood sugar levels, so it's important to maintain excellent daily care if you have diabetes to minimize your risk of developing gum disease.

Your dental health affects your overall health in many ways. To maintain a healthy mouth and avoid costly and painful dental procedures in the future, you need to take good care of your teeth at home and maintain regular visits with the dentist for a thorough cleaning twice a year.

To discover more about dental procedures, visit Willow Creek Family Dentistry at 2346 Mormon Trek Blvd, Suite 2600, Iowa City, IA 52246, or call our dentist in Iowa City, IA, at (319) 339-4456.

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