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How does Diabetes affect your Oral Health?

Diabetes has been diagnosed in approximately 3.2 million people in the UK.   Just over 600,000 more are thought to also be affected but haven’t been diagnosed!

Many people who suffer with diabetes know the  disease can affect the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other major organs, but few realise that diabetes can also cause problems with oral health.

Oral infections tend to be more severe in patients with diabetes than those without.

Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, so the gums of diabetic patients are at more risk of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria in plaque.   If plaque is left to build up on the gums/teeth, it can cause this inflammation of the gums, which if left untreated can turn to gum disease.

Regular checkups with your dentist and hygienist are all the more important therefore if you are diabetic.

Other oral health issues that face diabetics are;

  • Dry Mouth  (causing an increased rate of decay)

  • Burning mouth syndrome

  • Fungal infections such as thrush

It is important for everyone to look after their oral health and to have any potential dental infections treated immediately, but even more so when you’re diabetic.   Keeping insulin levels under control gives you a much better chance at avoiding gum disease.

Diet and exercise is a way of life we are all being constantly reminded of in order to improve quality of life and oral health.   Again, diabetics need to take extra care and ensure that their dental care and periodontal status are regularly monitored.

If you are in need of dental care, ensure your blood sugar levels are under control.  Talk to you dentist about ensuring dental procedures are as short as possible.  Morning appointments are also thought to be better as glucose levels tend to be more stable at this time of day.

Those with poor glucose levels tend to suffer with gum disease more often and more severely than those who keep it under control.

For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180


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