Diabetes is a condition that can affect many different parts of your body, like your weight, circulation, and vision. Another part of the body that diabetes can affect is your mouth. Even if your condition is under control, people with diabetes still have to take particular care of their oral health.
If diabetes is uncontrolled or poorly managed, white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections in the mouth, are not able to do their job. Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth, which causes dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, infections, and mouth soreness. Diabetes can also cause slower than normal healing in the mouth after a surgery or injury because the disease affects blood flow to the mouth. Often, people with diabetes have to take antibiotics to deal with infection, and they are particularly susceptible to thrush, which is a fungal infection that can cause a burning or itching sensation in the mouth. Another major oral health concern that affects people with uncontrolled or poorly managed diabetes is gum disease. Not only does diabetes affect white blood cells, it causes a thickening in blood vessels. This thickening slows the speed with which nutrients flow toward tissues and wastes are carried away from them. In the mouth, white blood cells that don’t act as they should, excess waste, and poor nutrient flow can lead to gum infections, like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Anyone diagnosed with diabetes, even if the disease is managed well, should have a good relationship with his or her dentist. Diabetics should take scrupulous care of their teeth and brush and floss daily. They should visit their dentist at least twice a year and make sure that the dentist is aware of their condition. It is also a good idea for a diabetic’s physician and dentist to have each other’s contact information so that they can discuss treatment plans for any oral disease that takes hold.
The dentists of the ADC Dental Group give the most attentive care to our patients that battle diabetes. We are here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call our office at 1-866-478-7695.