Dental care is especially important for people with pre-diabetes or diabetes due to the close relationship between oral health and diabetes management. Individuals with dental concerns and diabetes are at a higher risk of developing more complicated oral health issues. Here’s what you or a loved one should know about these health concerns, and how proper dental care can help prevent problems and improve overall well-being.
Dental Concerns and Diabetes in Virginia
Here are just a few of the most common oral health conditions related to diabetes.
Increased risk of tooth loss
Since people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease, there’s a higher chance of complications like gum recession and bone loss. In time, affected teeth will gradually start to become mobile or even fall out. But don’t let diabetes be an excuse for inevitable tooth loss— routine preventative care is essential to stop the disease process before it gets even worse.
Gum disease jeopardizes blood glucose levels
Studies repeatedly show a connection between poor gum health and high blood sugar levels. Even if you’re treating your diabetes with diet, exercise, and medication, active oral infections make it nearly impossible to stabilize your glucose readings. Fortunately, by preventing gum infections, you can have a positive impact on your blood glucose.
Greater risk of tooth decay
Irregular blood sugar levels combined with acid byproducts and dental plaque can significantly enhance the amount of enamel erosion in your mouth. Routine cleanings along with regular fluoride treatments are extremely important.
Delayed wound healing
Diabetes can slow down the healing process, which can be problematic after dental procedures like extractions or oral surgeries. Proper oral hygiene and post-procedure care are essential to prevent complications.
Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Some medications used to manage diabetes can cause dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and gum problems because saliva plays a crucial role in neutralizing acids and washing away food particles.
Tips From Our Alexandria Dental Office for Better Overall Health
Given these associations between diabetes and oral health, individuals with diabetes should prioritize regular dental check-ups and practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash as recommended by a dentist.
People without diabetes who have healthy teeth and gums benefit from a cleaning twice per year. But if you’re having trouble managing your blood glucose, you may want to consider more frequent dental checkups.
When you call our office to schedule an appointment, make sure to let us know about your diabetes status and any medications you’re taking to ensure personalized and safe dental care.