The Connection Between Diabetes & Oral Health

diabetes and oral health

Diabetes is defined as a group of diseases that affect how the body uses and stores glucose. Glucose, or blood sugar, is a source of energy that powers our body.

The month of November is recognized as Diabetes Awareness month. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health and the effects of type 1 or type 2 diabetes on your teeth and gums, do not hesitate to call or schedule a diagnostic appointment with Sedation Dental Care doctors. 

How Diabetes Affects Your Mouth

It is known that diabetes can negatively affect your body. This disease can harm your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. However, it is important that both dentists and patients are aware that the symptoms of diabetes can hurt your teeth and gums. The proper education may help prevent and treat these conditions to stop them from affecting your everyday life. 

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. Gum disease is so common that as many as 4 out of 5 adults have some form of periodontal disease, even without realizing it. If it is not treated in time, a small infection can grow and have more severe implications like tooth loss, ulcers, and worsening infections.  

The expert dental team at Sedation Dental Care in Raleigh, NC is experienced in recognizing and treating gum disease and other oral issues connected to diabetes. If the condition is severe or requires specialized equipment, our team is prepared to meet your needs.  There are a variety of treatments available for periodontal disease. The exact treatment for you will depend on the severity of your case and the area of your mouth that has been affected. Possible treatments for periodontal disease can include:

  • Scaling and root planing: This is a popular non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. It resembles a traditional dental cleaning that cleans below the gum line. 

  • Pocket elimination (flap) surgery: This surgical procedure reduces the size of the gum pockets to decrease the number of bacteria you have in your mouth. 

  • Tissue Regeneration: In severe cases where the bone and the gum tissue have been shattered, a transplanted bone graft may need to be placed in order to promote new bone growth. Also, dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are sometimes used to replace missing teeth lost by periodontal disease.

Be alert! You might have gum disease 

There are many factors that contribute to gum disease including heredity, diet, smoking, sugar control disorder, stress, and certain medications. Anyone can develop gum disease but there is an increased likelihood for patients with diabetes. 

Although a proper diagnosis of periodontal disease can only be made after a thorough examination by your dentist, some possible signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Tenderness in the gums

  • Red and/or swollen gums

  • Receding gums

  • Pus around the gums

  • Loose teeth

  • New spaces around the teeth

Beautiful smiles for people with diabetes

Having leveled blood glucose prevents many of the dental issues that arise from diabetes. Some things you can do if you have diabetes to improve your oral health are the following: 

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels

  • Brush 2x per day and floss regularly

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings & checkups.

  • Talk to your dentist about diabetes and any concerns

  • Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or sensitivity in your teeth or gums

  • Quit smoking

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of gum disease or has questions about their dental health while living with diabetes, the Sedation Dental Care team is ready to help. Find out more about our wide range of services and specialties by scheduling an appointment today.

Dan Davidian, DDS

Dr. Dan Davidian received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from UNC School of Dentistry and  trained at Ohio State in advanced Airway Management. He Trained at the Medical College of Georgia and received his IV sedation Certificate as well as additional Advanced Life Support Training. Dr. Davidian holds a fellowship from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists: ICOI and has additional training in: complete cosmetic restorations and makeovers, mini-dental implant restoration and placement for denture stabilization, same-day implant placement and restoration, and cosmetic and neuromuscular rehabilitation. 

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