People with diabetes are at an increased risk of oral health problems like gum disease.
Diabetes is a common health issue, and many people are diagnosed with the condition every year. In fact, some people are not even aware that they have the condition, while others have blood sugar levels that are high enough to actually qualify them as prediabetic. Read on to find out how diabetes can affect your body, as well as its impact on your oral health…
What is diabetes, exactly?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s natural ability to produce or process insulin. People with diabetes typically have high blood sugar because their bodies are not able to produce enough insulin or effectively use insulin as they should. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to a number of serious problems, including nerve damage, kidney disease, and heart disease. The condition has also been linked to a higher risk of gum disease.
Some of the possible symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, weight loss, increased hunger and thirst, blurry vision, frequent urination, and delayed wound healing.
Type two diabetes is usually caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. Being overweight or obese tends to increase one’s risk of the disease.
How does diabetes affect one’s oral health?
Studies suggest that there is a connection between diabetes and gum disease. People who have diabetes tend to be more susceptible to gum disease because diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight off inflammation and infections. On the other hand, gum disease can make it difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, which can lead to the further progression of the disease.
What can you do stay healthy?
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is particularly important that you take proper care of your teeth and gums. To do so, it’s advisable that you get your glucose levels under control. Speak to your doctor about the best way to do this in a way that is manageable and sustainable.
It is also very important that you practise proper oral hygiene habits every day. Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day — this will help remove plaque and bacteria that put you at risk of gum disease.
Even if you are committed to a good oral hygiene routine, you should still see your dentist for a professional clean every few months. Your dentist will also check for any signs of gum disease, and if any issues are identified, they can be resolved as soon as possible. People with diabetes also tend to be vulnerable to issues like fungal infections and dry mouth, so regular check-ups with your dentist are key when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile and keeping oral health problems at bay.
How can we help?
At Ironside Advanced Dental, we offer a range of preventative dentistry services to help our patients avoid oral health problems. By taking proper care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis, as well as attending regular check-ups and cleans, you can minimise the need for restorative dentistry in the future.
If you have diabetes and are concerned about its effect on your oral health, we encourage you to come for a consultation. Professor Jim Ironside will give you the opportunity to discuss your concerns before examining your teeth and gums and recommending a way forward. Often, regular check-ups and cleans help keep one’s oral health on track and prevent serious issues down the line.
To find out more about the full range of services that Professor Jim Ironside offers, please have a look here. To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (02) 9267 3495. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice and helping to maintain your overall wellness.