How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the body's ability to process glucose (i.e., sugar). Type I diabetes is diagnosed when the body does not make an adequate amount of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that transports glucose to cells from the bloodstream. Type II diabetes is indicated when an individual's body no longer responds to insulin. Both types of diabetes can lead to abnormally high glucose levels. High glucose levels can negatively affect and damage the eyes, heart, kidney, and nerves. Diabetes may also cause issues with oral health if not treated properly.

Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of developing gum disease (i.e., periodontal disease). This is due to poor blood glucose control. Individuals with diabetes should visit their dental office in Toronto regularly for examination and treatment by a dental professional. Periodontal disease is chronic and causes the gums to be inflamed. This gum disease can destroy the tissues that hold teeth, bones, and gums. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria entering the gums. This disease is the most common oral disease affecting individuals with diabetes.

If not treated, diabetes can negatively affect oral health. Diabetes may cause individuals to produce less saliva, which can lead to dry mouth. This is problematic because saliva protects teeth and with less saliva your teeth are at a higher risk of developing cavities. Diabetes may also cause gingivitis which makes the gums inflamed and bleed. Individuals with untreated diabetes may also have difficulty tasting foods and delayed healing of wounds. Further, they may also be at an increased risk of developing infections inside their mouth. Infections, including infection of the gums, may lead to an increase in blood sugar. This then makes diabetes more difficult to treat and control due to a higher risk of infection and decreased ability to eliminate the bacteria that is living within the gums.

In order to prevent issues with oral health, individuals with diabetes should make sure to control their blood glucose levels and take their medication as directed each day. It is also important to have regular dental check ups to monitor your oral health. Visit GT Dental in Toronto for any of your dental needs, contact us today to book an appointment. 

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