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What to Know About Diabetes and Oral Health

Tuesday - September 20th, 2016
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Over 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, have diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar, due to not producing insulin (type 1 diabetes), or not producing enough insulin for proper function or the cells do not react to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Diabetes can harm many parts of the body (including eyes and kidneys). However, many people do not realize that diabetes can also affect your mouth’s health, too.

  1. People with diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Smoking will further increase this risk.
  2. Dry mouth is also a common symptom of uncontrolled diabetes. Dry mouth can lead soreness, ulcers and infections in the mouth.
  3. People with diabetes and those who frequently take antibiotics are more prone to developing oral thrush, a fungal infection, which is typically treated with anti-fungal medications.

Since people with diabetes have a greater risk for these dental problems, it is key to maintain good oral hygiene and address changes immediately with your dentist.