Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to a number of other health concerns. One surprising complication of diabetes is dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. If you have diabetes, you should understand the condition’s connection to dental problems so that you can take the necessary precautions to keep your teeth healthy.
Sugary Foods and Tooth Decay
In some cases, the lifestyle habits that contribute to diabetes can affect your dental health as well. Excessive sugar intake sometimes plays a role in the weight gain and blood sugar problems associated with diabetes. Eating too much sugar can also lead to cavities and tooth decay because it increases the amount of plaque that forms on your teeth. The acid in the plaque can eat away at your tooth enamel and dentin, resulting in cavities and tooth sensitivity.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
Diabetes can also directly lead to gum disease, or gingivitis. If your blood sugar levels are not under control, you may be vulnerable to bacterial infections. When plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, the bacteria can irritate your gums and cause swelling and bleeding. Anyone is susceptible to gingivitis if they don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly, but diabetes makes it much harder for your body to fight off the bacteria.
When gingivitis goes untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, which is a more serious infection of the gums. Eventually, periodontitis can damage your jawbone and cause your gums to pull away from your teeth.
How to Maintain Your Dental Health
If you have diabetes, it’s essential that you maintain good dental hygiene habits. You should brush your teeth twice per day and floss at least once per day. You also should visit your dentist or dental hygienist twice per year for teeth cleaning and checkups. Your dentist can check for early signs of tooth damage, which will allow you to treat any dental problems before they become severe.
Managing your diabetes will help you prevent dental problems, too. You should visit your doctor regularly and follow their instructions to keep your blood sugar levels under control. The better you regulate your blood sugar, the lower your risk is of experiencing tooth and gum problems as a result of your diabetes.
If you live in Sherman Oaks, California, you can contact South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics for a teeth cleaning, checkup, X-ray, or any other dental need. The professionals at South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics understand how important dental care is for people with diabetes, so you can be sure that your dentist and dental hygienist will help you improve your overall health.