Dental Tips Blog

Aug
7

Diabetes and Tooth Decay – What’s the Connection?

If you are living with diabetes, then you likely already know about the slew of complications that can follow. Being diabetic puts you at risk for infections, kidney problems, circulation complications, eye issues, and more.

Did you know that cavities should be on that list, as well?

Tooth decay and diabetes share a common denominator: sugar.

How Cavities Start

Cavities are holes in your teeth that are worn away by acid. This erosion can start with acids in your food, but it’s mainly caused by acid-producing bacteria. These germs feed on the carbohydrates that pass through your mouth and give off a waste product that destroys enamel.

This process affects everyone, with or without diabetes. Really, everyone needs to be alert to the concentration of simple carbohydrates their teeth are exposed to.

Diabetics in particular, however, need to be extra vigilant.

Diabetes Affects Your Decay Risk

Glucose is one of those simple carbohydrates that cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. They thrive in a sugary environment. If your body isn’t processing sugar correctly, then your saliva will also register high levels of glucose.

All that extra sugar makes for an environment ripe for tooth decay. But this is usually only an issue if your blood sugar level is frequently out of control.

Diabetes doesn’t have to rule your life if you can keep it under control. By maintaining the best oral health possible, you can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your smile.

See your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings. He or she will also recommend products to reinforce your teeth against decay and tools to make oral hygiene a breeze.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Jul
31

Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? You probably know that this condition increases your risk of things like heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.

But how about your risk for gum disease?

There’s more research emerging every year that highlights the link between oral disease and diabetes. If you haven’t already, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the way diabetes affects your smile.

Gum Disease

Interestingly, studies show that gum disease and diabetes go both ways in affecting one another. Uncontrolled diabetes causes oral infection to quickly advance, and the presence of gum inflammation makes it harder to control blood sugar.

Infections

Diabetes lowers your body’s ability to fight off infection. This leads to a greater chance of oral health problems such as:

  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infections
  • Sores
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease

Dry Mouth

Diabetics are prone to xerostomia, or dry mouth. A very uncomfortable condition, dry mouth leads to a faster accumulation of food debris and bacteria.

This lack of saliva quickly leads to yet another oral health issue linked to diabetes. 

Cavities

High blood sugar, little saliva to wash bacteria away, and poor resistance to infection add up to make a recipe for decay.

What You Should Do

Proper medication and lifestyle changes are crucial to helping you stay master over diabetes – instead of the other way around. Keeping your mouth clean is another key way to stay healthy.

It may be best to post-pone unnecessary procedures if your blood sugar is not under control. See your dentist for regular cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Let your dental team know about any changes in your medications. Trust them to know how diabetes affects your dental health and treatment!

Posted on behalf of:
Chester Road Family Dental
11701 Chester Rd.
Chester, VA 23831
804-748-5105

Sep
14

Posted in Gum Disease

Diabetes is a serious matter. If you’ve struggled with it for years, then you’re probably aware that it can lead to many other problems.

What you may not have heard before is that diabetes is closely connected to another issue: gum disease. And this problem is usually a silent one.

Diabetes will present symptoms that you just cannot ignore. Periodontal, or gum, disease can cause a lot of damage before you’re even aware of it.

Why Gum Disease is a Big Deal

Gum disease starts when your gums become inflamed from the presence of plaque bacteria. If the plaque is not removed, the inflammation can move into the ligaments and bone that support your teeth. If not treated at this stage, the gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.

The Mouth-Body Connection

As you may know, diabetes makes you more prone to infections. Gum disease is no exception. Your gums are going to be especially sensitive to the presence of bacteria. Their ability to fight the bacteria is lowered.

Research indicates that the problem is a two-way one. Periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) can raise blood sugar levels. If your diabetes is not under control, you are at even greater risk for oral disease.

Diabetes? See Your Dentist!

If you are currently battling a systemic problem like diabetes, then you can’t afford to neglect your dental health. Keep regular checkup appointments at your local dental office. X-rays, examinations, and professional cleanings will help you lower your risk for dental problems even if other health issues raise your risk. Contact your dentist for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Huebner Smiles Dentistry and Orthodontics
12055 Vance Jackson Rd #103
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 625-7056

Nov
20

Can Diabetes Be Destroying Your Smile?

Posted in Periodontics

More and more research is showing the direct connection between diabetes and oral disease. Diabetes is a systemic condition, meaning that other parts of your body can suffer as a result. Your teeth are no exception. Diabetes can adversely affect the health of both your teeth and your gums, so it is important to understand the connection and take preventative action before your smile suffers.

The Mouth-Body Connection

Diabetes prevents the body’s ability to process glucose in the blood due to a lack of insulin. The elevated blood sugar levels can cause damage to your gum tissues around the teeth. It also weakens your immune system in general. Increased levels of glucose in the blood increase your risk for oral disease, and the weakened immune system makes it more difficult for your mouth to avoid the effects of an accumulation of harmful bacteria.

Cavity Risk

The increase in blood sugar means that you’ll have a greater amount of sugar in your saliva for cavity-causing bacteria to feed upon. Uncontrolled diabetes goes hand-in-hand with extensive tooth decay.

Periodontal Disease

The connection goes both ways between periodontal disease and diabetes. High glucose levels also support the bacteria that cause gum disease. Diabetes slows down circulation, which prevents the gums from healing. Recent studies show that the reverse is true: raging periodontal disease can make diabetes more difficult to control. You may start to notice problems like gum recession, bleeding, and loose teeth.

Flossing and brushing won’t be enough to protect your smile if you have diabetes. Professional dental care is necessity. Talk with your doctor about how to properly manage your diabetes with medication or diet and exercise. When your diabetes is under control and you practice excellent oral hygiene, it is possible to enjoy a healthy smile.

Visit your dentist for assistance in designing the ideal plan for keeping your smile healthy and safe from the effects of diabetes.

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Ridge Dentistry
7510 Ramble Way #101
Raleigh, NC 27616
(919) 809-7192

Jul
24

How Diabetes Affects Your Gum Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Diabetes is a life-altering condition that can create complications for other body systems. If you are a sufferer of diabetes, you may already be aware of the connection the disease has to kidney and eye problems. But have you ever heard about its close relationship with your gums?

A Hand-in-Hand Relationship

If your diabetes is not controlled, it will aggravate your periodontal (gum) condition, and if your periodontal condition is not stable, it can amplify the negative effects diabetes has on the rest of your body. How so?

Gum disease is loosely classified into two categories: gingivitis (inflammation of only a shallow layer of the gums) and periodontitis (advanced inflammation and breakdown of gum tissue, supporting ligaments, and bone surrounding teeth). These diseases result from the body responding to the presence of bacteria on the teeth.

Hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar in the blood) overstimulates the inflammatory response, which is directly responsible for the destruction associated with periodontal disease. Uncontrolled, diabetes will aggravate your periodontal condition.

Recent research indicates that the increased inflammatory response connected to periodontal disease also makes it more difficult to regulate blood sugar levels.

What Can You Do?

Diabetes typically predisposes you to infections and slow healing times. These factors make it difficult to manage your periodontal health, but it is not impossible.

By keeping your diabetes carefully monitored by a physician and under control and by maintaining excellent oral hygiene at home, you can stay on top of both conditions.

You would also benefit from hygiene check-ups scheduled more frequently than six months. Ask your dentist about what routine is best-suited to your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

May
4

Don’t Let Diabetes Destroy Your Smile

Living with diabetes can be a constant challenge. Knowing the right way to take care of yourself doesn’t only impact your blood sugar levels – it also affects your smile. Did you know that the more or less your blood sugar levels are controlled will directly impact the health of your teeth and gums?

Conditions like periodontal disease (gum disease) are more likely to worsen and lead to tooth loss in people with uncontrolled diabetes. Likewise, unmanaged gum disease is likely to result in uncontrolled blood sugar levels. This is caused by an immune response throughout the body that is triggered by the increased oral bacterial levels entering into the bloodstream through the mouth.

First things first: visit your dentist. A thorough cleaning and information on effective oral hygiene can jump-start your oral health back in the direction that it needs to be. Your dentist will screen for areas of localized gum disease so you can know what parts of your mouth need more attention than others. After reviewing your oral hygiene routine, your dental hygienist can help you pinpoint methods that remove plaque biofilm more thoroughly on an everyday basis.

By improving your oral hygiene and dental health, diabetics can enjoy healthier smiles and healthier lives. Many people find that once their oral health is where it needs to be, they can finally control their diabetic condition once and for all. All it takes is an active person like yourself to take the steps that you need to improving your body as a whole, not in parts. Remember to discuss your health changes and medications with your dentist at every check up!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Mar
19

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Smile?

Taking the right steps to manage your diabetes can have a lot to do with how healthy your smile is. Did you know that the more severe your oral health conditions like periodontal disease are, the more difficult it is to manage your blood sugar levels? Together, diabetes and gum disease go hand in hand.

Active inflammation and plaque buildup make it difficult, if not impossible, to manage blood sugar levels. In turn, higher blood sugar levels mean more active bacteria in the mouth. It can seem like both conditions simply continue to spiral out of control, getting worse and worse no matter what you try to do.

If you’re living with diabetes or are a newly diagnosed diabetic, it’s important to get professional oral care on a regular basis. Simply managing your diabetes with diet or medication may not be enough, especially if you have symptoms of gum disease like bleeding and swelling. Your dentist and hygienist can help you manage your dental health more effectively, making it easier for you and your doctor to manage your diabetes.

Have your teeth cleaned at least every 6 months. This allows your hygienist to remove deep deposits of plaque or tartar that have the potential of feeding bacteria into your bloodstream. She will also discuss different home care methods with you to help you manage plaque control more efficiently. People with more severe gum infections or unmanaged diabetes may need to have professional cleanings every 3-4 months until their symptoms begin to reverse.

Keep your dental team up to date on your overall health. You might just be surprised at how the two go hand in hand.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Feb
27

Diabetes and Dental Health

Posted in Gum Disease

If you have diabetes, you know the importance of keeping your blood sugar (also known as your blood glucose level) under control.  One way to do this is to follow your diet, take your medications and insulin as prescribed, and to exercise regularly.  Recent studies have also shown that keeping your mouth healthy also helps keep your blood sugar levels in a more normal range.

Most experts will say that for an individual with diabetes, their daily blood glucose level should be around 90-110 mg / dL.  If you have diabetes mellitus, your physician may also draw a blood test called a Hg A1c that will tell you what your ‘average’ blood glucose levels are for the last three months.  This level should be around 6-7%.

When blood glucose levels increase, you are more at risk for infections and organ damage.  You also are more likely to have an unhealthy mouth, and keeping your mouth healthy makes it easier to control your blood glucose levels.

There are several steps you can take to keep your mouth healthy if you have diabetes.  The most important one is to let your dentist know you have diabetes.  Make sure you keep your regular dental appointments, and have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.  Periodontal disease can be catastrophic in an individual with diabetes.

At a minimum, your teeth should be cleaned twice a year.  Depending on how long you have had diabetes, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings, or more frequent visits to check on the state of your mouth and to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Keeping your mouth healthy will also help keep your blood glucose healthy.  Be sure to include your dentist in your diabetes planning.

Posted on the behalf of Juban Dental Care

Google

Feb
27

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to control your blood sugar, to maintain a healthy weight, and to exercise regularly.  You probably have spoken to your physician or nurse about healthy eating, carbohydrate counting, and what can happen to your eyes, heart, kidneys and feet if you do not keep your blood glucose at a safe level. Did you also know, though, that having diabetes mellitus (either type one or type two) can also impact your mouth, teeth and gums?

There are three things, in particular, that someone with diabetes is at risk for as far as oral health goes.

The first is gum disease (periodontal disease).  There is an increased rate of periodontal disease among those with diabetes.  Gum disease occurs more often because it takes longer to heal when you have gum disease.  It is important to treat all gum disease because blood sugar levels tend to be lower, and can be better controlled when your mouth is health.

Fungal infections also occur in the mouths of those with diabetes.  If you have a sore, or difficulty swallowing, you may have a fungal infection. Make an appointment with your dentist to have this evaluated before it becomes worse.

As blood glucose levels increase, a person with diabetes is more likely to develop infections and have a hard time healing.  It is important to keep your blood sugar under control to help control any mouth infections.  If you need to have dental or oral surgery, be sure to take all of the antibiotics or anti-bacterial rinse as prescribed by your dentist.

If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or just found out you are at risk for diabetes, talk to your dentist about including a diabetic mouth exam as part of your regular dental check-ups.

Posted on the behalf of Springhill Dental Health Center

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