As this month is Nation Diabetes Awareness Month, we wanted to take the time to ensure that you understand the link between your oral health and your health overall. Millions of Americans deal with diabetes, and most know that this disease can be harmful to the kidneys, nerves, eyes, heart and other vital systems throughout the body. We think it’s important that you also know how diabetes can cause problems in your mouth, and how gum disease can make it difficult to control diabetes.
How It Hurts
Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease or periodontitis, is an infection of the bone and gums that are responsible for holding your teeth in place. Gum disease can lead to pain, bleeding, tenderness and even the eventual loss of your teeth.
The connection between diabetes and gum disease works both ways. Poor control of blood glucose levels makes the body more susceptible to infection, and infection in the gums is difficult for diabetics to fight. While there has been no direct link discovered between the two, it’s commonly assumed that those with diabetes must work extra hard to keep their mouths healthy.
How to Help
The most important part of keeping your mouth healthy as a diabetic is to control your blood glucose levels at all times. Those with poor control are much more likely to develop gum disease than those who have their levels under control.
Brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing once a day goes a long way toward improving oral health. Try to brush in the morning and night, and floss at night before going to bed. See a dentist or periodontist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams, and always be up front with your doctor about your condition.
We are experienced in dealing with patients that suffer from diabetes, and believe we can help you get gum disease under control. Contact us today to make an appointment with Dr. Strout.
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