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Diabetes and Your Teeth

diabetes and your teeth blog post
Posted on: January 20th, 2023 by | No Comments

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects your overall and oral health, including your gums and teeth. An estimated 34.2 million people—about 10 percent of the population—in the U.S. share this illness, so if you are among them, you are far from alone. There are two types of diabetes that affect children through adults, and the effects of this disease on your response to bacteria and the production of your saliva are two main reasons those with diabetes need to be extra attentive to their oral health. Uptown Dental can help you manage your dental care with regular checkups and guidance on flossing, brushing, and signs you need to visit your dentist.

Diabetes and Your Saliva

The presence of saliva is important to the health of your teeth and gums. It naturally protects your mouth from bacteria. Diabetes can affect the production of saliva. High blood sugar can lead to dry mouth, and that can promote plaque buildup, tooth decay, gingivitis, and even fungal infections. Ensuring healthy blood sugar levels will help your body produce saliva to protect your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum may also help you produce saliva and balance the pH of your mouth. Learn more about dry mouth and diabetes.

Diabetes and the Inflammatory Response

Diabetes makes it harder for the body to fight infection and inflammation. When it comes to dental health, this means an increased risk of the two stages of gum disease—gingivitis and periodontitis. Gum disease starts with swelling and can lead to bleeding, loose teeth, and eventually, tooth loss.

Diabetes and Oral Health Tips

There are three simple steps you can take every day to maintain your oral health when you have diabetes. Children with diabetes may need extra reminders and fun ways to turn taking care of their teeth and gums into a daily habit.

  1. Control Your Diabetes—Follow your physician’s direction on how to properly care for yourself when you have diabetes. That includes controlling your blood sugar levels, exercising, eating right, and attending to your overall health.
  2. Eat Right for Diabetes and Your Teeth—As always, you are encouraged to eat more fresh, crunchy vegetables and fewer sweets and carbs like cookies, potato chips, and bread. As a reminder, review our list of foods to avoid for better dental health.
  3. Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums—Brush twice a day, floss daily using floss or another alternative to get between teeth, and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

A positive attitude and good awareness of the oral issues related to the disease will go a long way toward keeping your smile bright and healthy. Please reach out to Uptown Dental if you have any questions about oral health and diabetes—or any other dental health questions you have!