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Oral Health and Diabetes

Approximately 30 million Americans have Diabetes. That’s about 9% of the population – and 8 million people in the United States living with diabetes are not even aware that they have it.

If you have diabetes, your body’s ability to process sugar is affected. The food that we consume turns into sugar, and the body uses it for energy. People who have Type 1 diabetes don’t produce adequate insulin – a hormone that transports sugar to the cells through the blood, giving them energy. In Type 2 diabetes, your body does not respond to insulin as it should. Both cases result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause health issues with your nerves, eyes, heart, kidneys, and other bodily organs or parts.

So how does diabetes impact your oral health, and how can you protect it? Your Dallas dentist has the answers.

Diabetes can affect your oral health in a multitude of ways. Those with diabetes experience dry mouth. Saliva plays an important function, as it helps wash away acids and food particles. Not having adequate saliva might cause the particles to settle in your mouth, which turns into acid, and eventually causes tooth decay. Patients suffering from diabetes have a higher risk of developing cavities. Dry mouth can also cause infections, ulcers, and mouth soreness.

Diabetes can also slow the healing process from wounds. Those who have had dental surgery may recover slower than the average healthy person. Diabetes can also make a person more prone to infections. Proper oral care and treatment can help minimize these risks.

Those with diabetes also have a bigger risk of developing gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Left untreated, gum disease can cause bleeding of the gums, bad breath, tooth loss, and difficulty chewing.

It is important that you work closely with your caring team at Dallas Dental Wellness if you have signs of gum disease. Remember, the sooner you address the problem, the better your chances of avoiding serious complications.

If you have diabetes, let your Dallas dentist know, and make it a point to see your dentist regularly. Schedule an appointment for a routine cleaning at least twice a year. This will alert you and your dentist to early signs of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health concerns, so you can get timely treatment.

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