March 13, 2021
Diabetes is a chronic and complicated disease that affects how your body processes sugar—its main source of energy. Diabetes symptoms mostly affect your heart, eyes, nerves, and kidneys, but it can affect your whole body, including your mouth.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and almost 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Managing your blood sugar is very important if you have diabetes and will help keep symptoms at bay. Taking good care of your oral wellness is actually one key to managing blood sugar.
Diabetes & Your Mouth
Diabetes can show itself in your mouth by causing:
- Gum disease: This condition is surprisingly common among most adults and has an even stronger correlation with diabetes, but it can and should be treated.
- Dry mouth: Diabetes tends to cause a decrease in saliva, which can be uncomfortable and cause bad breath.
- Decreased ability to taste: Diabetes can make it difficult to fully taste and enjoy your food. Try new spices to improve your meals, but be careful not to use too much sugar.
- Oral infections: Yeast (thrush) is especially common because diabetes affects your immune system. People with dentures and diabetes are at an increased risk of developing oral infections.
- Slow healing: Diabetes can affect your ability to recover from injury and illness. Cold sores or cuts in your mouth may stick around longer if you have diabetes.
Gum Disease & Diabetes
You’d be absolutely shocked at the high number of bacteria that live in your mouth every day. Most of them are totally normal and fine. But, certain types of bacteria can be bad for your oral health and overall health.
Since bacteria live off the sugars in your mouth, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum disease from the bad bacteria. In fact, 22% of people diagnosed with diabetes will also get gum disease. In turn, gum disease infections can cause your blood sugar to elevate, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Thankfully, treating gum disease has been shown to also treat high blood sugar.
Gum disease is common and treatable and can vary in severity from a minor inflammation with sore and bleeding gums, to a major issue of receding gums, pus surrounding the teeth, and eventual tooth loss. If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep an eye on your oral health and practice good hygiene to prevent gum disease from starting or getting worse. Gum disease is linked to a number of other health problems, so you really don’t want to ignore any signs that it might be developing.
Prevention & Protection
The ADA recommends controlling your blood sugar, brushing and flossing your teeth, and seeing the dentist in order to protect your mouth from symptoms of diabetes. Controlling gum disease and practicing great oral hygiene is known to help manage diabetes.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Portales, make an appointment at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today!
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
April 27, 2018
Acids and bases might sound like something from far back in your memory, like middle school science class, but the concept is still very applicable to every aspect of life today.
The foods and beverages you consume daily have a very big effect on your oral health and overall health, for better or worse. You can protect and support your health by eating the right foods. We know this isn’t news to anyone, but it’s much easier said than done, right?
October 13, 2017
We’re no strangers to extreme temperatures and dry weather in Portales, and our lips are proof. Most of us experience chapped lips at some point during the year; it’s not uncommon to see lips suffering from annoying, painful cracks. Here at Peter L. Thompson, DDS we keep abreast of the oral health needs of Portales, so here are a few tips from Dr. Thompson about how to keep your lips healthy, kissable, and free to eat and drink whatever you crave!
Do You Have Dry, Chapped, or Cracked Lips?
June 13, 2015
It’s no secret that diabetes is a health condition that must be treated because of the problems it can cause throughout the body—including in your mouth. Consider that nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. who, according to the American Diabetes Association, have diabetes. Portales dentist, Dr. Thompson wants you to know the side effects diabetes can have on oral health.
When people with diabetes experience high glucose levels, those levels could also be helping bacteria thrive—causing major problems for their teeth. Some diabetics have chronic inflammation and infections in their mouths.
April 13, 2013
At Peter L. Thompson DDS, we are always looking for new ways to make your life healthier and happier and new studies now prove that dentists can join primary care physicians in fight against diabetes. Dr. Thompson and his staff want to do everything possible to help patients live a long and happy life.