Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease affecting more than 29 million Americans, or approximately 9% of the U.S. population. Problems with teeth and gums can be more common for people with diabetes, so good dental health is important to prevent dental complications developing.
Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. Gum disease develops when plaque causes the tissues that hold your teeth in place to become irritated and inflamed. In its early stages, it is called gingivitis. When you have gingivitis, your gums become red and swollen and may bleed when you brush or floss. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause tooth loss.
People with diabetes also may be more likely to develop thrush. Thrush is a fungal (yeast) infection that can grow in your mouth, throat and other parts of your body. Thrush appears as white and red patches on your tongue and on the insides of your cheeks. It can cause a painful, burning sensation.
Dry mouth is a common symptom in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes . Saliva keeps the mouth moist and reduces the risk of developing tooth decay. It bathes the teeth in fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel—the hard protective, outer layer of the tooth. People with diabetes produce less saliva than healthy adults. Saliva plays an important role in neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and keeping bacteria growth in check.
If you need to schedule an appointment or want to learn more about how diabetes might affect your oral health, contact the experts at Sunrise Blvd Dental today!