Diabetes and Your Dental Health
Dr. Linda Vidone, Dental Director, DentaQuest
Did you know that the 26 million people living with diabetes are at an increased risk for gum disease? According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are more susceptible to serious gum disease which can affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month so we’re calling attention to this important correlation.
Researchers have found that people with diabetes are at increased risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). Diabetics are typically more vulnerable to bacterial infection and have a diminished ability to fight bacteria once they invade the gums.
Gum disease can make blood sugar levels fluctuate, making it more difficult to control the disease. Diabetics are also more susceptible to other complications from bacterial infections, dry mouth and fungal infections.
All of this underscores the importance of maintaining good oral health and keeping your dentist up to date on your general health.
So what can you do to prevent gum disease and lower your diabetes risk? (1) Make sure you brush and floss properly and see your dentist for regular checkups. (2) If you have diabetes, be sure to control your blood glucose levels. (3) Let your dentist and hygienist know of your condition so they can be ready to meet your needs.