Diabetes is one of the most widespread serious health concerns in the United States, affecting tens of millions of people. And a significant portion of them, up to one-third, don’t know they have it. Diabetes can dramatically impact one’s overall health, affecting everything from weight control to sight to nerve function. Diabetes can also be a factor in oral health.
Diabetes commonly causes dry mouth in many patients. While it may seem only mildly irritating, dry mouth actually contributes to the advent of cavities and gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth flourish in the dryer environment, and cavities form more easily without a constant wash of saliva. More healthy bacteria mean a higher likelihood of them infecting the gums, causing gingivitis.
Gum disease, while serious for all people, is especially so for people with diabetes. They tend to be able to fight off infection less well, and consequently gum disease can spread further more quickly. What begins as inflamed gums becomes infected connective tissues and compromised bone, leading to tooth loss. This may seem an extreme result, but 1 in 5 total tooth losses can be linked to diabetes.
The best defense against dental complications of your diabetes is to practice great oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can prevent the onset of gum disease and the development of cavities. Regular cleanings and checkups at Transcend Dental are also essential. Please call our dental office in Royersford, PA, today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared Ayes. We are eager to keep your oral health on track.