In the United States alone, there are 29.1 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Just as diabetes can affect your overall health, it can also affect the health of your mouth and smile. Check out this short list of problems with oral health every diabetic should know about so they can keep an eye on developing issues.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels have a detrimental effect on the circulatory system, which means diabetes can lead to poor blood flow to the gums. If these soft tissues are not getting fresh, oxygenated blood, they are more prone to breaking down. Gum diseases like gingivitis are typical among diabetic patients.
The exact reason why diabetes presents problems with dry mouth is unknown. However, it is a very common problem and one that can affect your overall oral health. Lack of saliva can be the root cause for multiple oral health conditions, including tooth decay.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Halitosis can come along with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, but it is not the state of your blood sugar that actually generates foul odors. Your breath may smell bad because there is a lack of saliva or because of gum disease. Oftentimes, treating the underlying condition will help deter problems with bad breath.
The lack of saliva and reduced blood flow to the gums can lead to problems with dental decay. If the teeth are not consistently washed with natural saliva because of problems with a dry mouth, it can make it easier for bacteria to grow on the enamel of the teeth. Brushing regularly and getting regular professional cleanings are important.
As a diabetic, you should discuss all of these concerns with your dentist. Make sure you get proper professional attention and make appointments regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your diagnosis means you have to be even more attentive to your oral health than the average person if you want to protect your smile. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information about how we can help you with your smile if you have diabetes.