If you have diabetes, you know you have to be very careful with what you eat. You also know that you're more at-risk for specific diseases and other health conditions, but did you know that diabetes can affect your oral health? There are a number of things that you need to watch out for when you have this disease, whether it's Type 1 or Type 2. Here are a few signs that diabetes is taking its toll on your oral health.
You Have Gingivitis
Gingivitis or gum disease occurs when bacteria infect the gums. Diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to fight off this bacteria, especially when your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. In addition to leading to gingivitis, without the ability to fight off this bacteria, you can quickly move into more advanced gum disease. This issue, called periodontitis, is a serious infection that results in bone loss. It can also lead to losing teeth.
This infection can actually cause an increase in your blood sugar, making it even more difficult for the body to fight off infections and leading to a number of other issues. By working with us to get gum disease under control, you'll see improvements in your overall blood sugar levels and your A1C.
Other signs that your diabetes is damaging your oral health is thrush. This fungal infection is more likely to occur in those who have high blood sugar. If you've seen patches of either white or red in your mouth, you may have thrush. Getting your blood sugar under control and brushing regularly will help reduce the risk of thrush.
Finally, you may also experience dry mouth with your diabetes. This lack of saliva puts you at higher risk of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues because saliva helps wash away the bacteria on your teeth.
If you have diabetes, make sure you mention it to us when you book your next appointment. It will help us provide a better level of care.