Extra Attention To Oral Health Needed For Diabetics

Posted on May 18, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Diabetics face a number of challenges every day, including greater health risks. Diabetes can damage the kidneys, eyes, heart and nerves. However, many are unaware of the higher risk for periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease attacks gum tissues and tooth supporting bone structures. In early stages, gum disease symptoms cause tender gums that bleed when brushing and persistent bad breath. As the disease progresses, it can lead to painful chewing and eventual tooth loss.

As the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss, periodontal disease also increases your risk for serious problems elsewhere in the body. Like diabetes, gum disease can create an inflammatory reaction in the body. Research has linked gum disease bacteria with heart disease, stroke, preterm babies, and memory loss.

Dry mouth is often a symptom of diabetes even before it is diagnosed. Dry mouth occurs when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Saliva is your body’s oral cleanser that moves bacteria out of the mouth. Dry mouth can cause tender and sore gums, ulcers, infections and cavities. For diabetics who smoke, these problems are far worse.

To prevent gum disease and other health risks, controlling blood glucose levels is highly important. Those with poor glucose control are more prone to gum disease and have it at more severe levels than people with controlled diabetes.

If you are diabetic, you CAN put the odds for a healthy mouth in your favor. Control your glucose, brush twice a day, floss daily and have regular dental check-ups. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, call us at (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. Once gum disease is underway, it will only worsen without treatment.

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