Most people think of diabetes as a singular issue, separate from any other illness they may have. But diabetes effects the body in many unexpected ways – including the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
People who have diabetes are more likely to have periodontal (gum) disease than those who do not have diabetes. Untreated periodontal disease can cause pain, bad breath, difficulty with chewing, and can even cause tooth loss. Diabetes can also slow down the body’s healing process, which makes it even harder to effectively treat periodontal disease. Furthermore, diabetes can aggravate dry mouth or cause thrush, a fungal infection that looks like painful white patches in the mouth.
So how can these problems be fixed or avoided?
If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your mouth regularly for signs of disease or other problems. Also, make sure your blood glucose levels are well controlled. Brush twice a day and floss regularly, and quit smoking since smoking is unhealthy and can make gum disease worse.
Visit your dentist on at least an annual basis and discuss any concerns you may have about your oral health. Make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes. If you notice dryness, soreness, white patches, bleeding, swelling, or a bad taste in your mouth, report these issues to your dentist.
Make an appointment with a Valley-Wide dentist by calling 1-833-350-1113.