Exploring the Connection Between Diabetes & Your Oral Health

family dentist in Salem

As your family dentist in Salem, our team at Willis Dental works hard to ensure that every patient enjoys a healthy, great looking smile for a lifetime. To enjoy a smile that dazzles, you need to set a solid foundation for your oral health that’s based on practicing quality oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular exams and cleanings with your family dentist in Salem.

Preventative dental care makes a significant difference to not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. Failing to brush and floss daily, along with avoiding the dentist, allows plaque and other harmful oral bacteria the chance to attack the health of our teeth and gums. This increases your risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease, two common oral health conditions that can also work to undermine your overall health.

A growing amount of research has found significant connections between dental decay and disease and a number of chronic health conditions. Patients who experience cavities, tooth loss and gum disease have a higher risk for developing a variety of diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer.

Perhaps no disease better illustrates this connection than the link between gum disease and diabetes.

Oral Health & Diabetes: A Compelling Connection

Gum disease and diabetes has an interconnectedness that in many ways links these two seemingly disparate diseases together. As the American Diabetes Association describes this connection, people with diabetes are more susceptible to developing severe gum disease and patients with severe gum disease and a history of poor blood sugar increase their risk for developing diabetes. Approximately 22 percent of diabetes patients also deal with gum disease and an inability to properly control their blood sugar levels.

Ultimately, this connection acts like a two-way street that only gets worse without receiving the right type of dental care.

Diabetes Increases Risk for Oral Problems

The ADA also notes that patients with diabetes, whether Type 2 or Type 1, are likely to develop the symptoms most closely associated with gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Diabetes patients commonly develop the red, swollen and bleeding gums caused by gingivitis, along with dry mouth, another common oral condition that can undermine your long-term oral health if not properly treated.

Patients with diabetes are also more likely to develop a rare condition known as burning mouth syndrome. Patients with burning mouth syndrome report feeling a persistent burning sensation in their mouths that grow steadily worse throughout the day. While very little is known about what causes the condition, there is no known cure.

Patients with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing Thrush. A condition that causes an overgrowth of a yeast fungus, Thrush lines the mouth with painful whitish or red patches.

These are just a few of the oral health complications that patients with diabetes can expect to develop if they don’t work to improve their oral health.

Protecting Your Health

While quality oral hygiene becomes paramount for patients with diabetes, protecting your oral health from gum disease and tooth decay and also help to lower your risk for developing diabetes.

Preventative dental care makes all the difference when it comes to ensuring a healthy smile and body. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking the time and making the effort to correctly brush and floss a day, and don’t ignore your need to regularly see a family dentist in Salem.