The Connection between Oral Health and Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 34 million Americans have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent systemic diseases in the country. Many people may not realize that diabetes can impact your oral health in important ways. The reverse is also true: taking care of your oral health can also help keep diabetes under control.

How diabetes affects your oral health

On their website, the American Dental Association explains that people with diabetes are at greater risk for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. This is primarily due to increased blood sugar levels that allow bacteria to thrive. Your blood sugar levels also rise when you have gum disease, making diabetes even harder to control. 

Diabetes can affect your mouth in additional ways, such as decreasing the amount of saliva in your mouth. Because saliva protects your teeth, this can make someone with diabetes more prone to cavities. Diabetes can also cause a fungal infection called thrush, which is marked by painful white patches in your mouth that can affect your sense of taste and ability to swallow. 

Caring for your mouth with diabetes

Taking control of your oral health can help improve blood sugar levels and prevent many oral health problems. If you have diabetes, you can care for your mouth in several important ways, including:

Be sure to discuss your overall health and medical history with your dental team so they can help provide you with the best care possible. Maintaining a good partnership with your dentist can keep your smile healthy and help you manage diabetes. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Posted in: General Oral Health, Health