By Moy Dental
December 16, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Health   Diabetes  

Your overall health and your dental health are highly linked -- and this is especially true when it comes to how diabetes affects your oral health.

Diabetes affects your body’s ability to use blood glucose or blood sugar as fuel. Those with type 1 diabetes do not make enough of the hormone insulin to allow blood sugar into the cells. Those with type 2 diabetes have cells that insulin doesn’t work as well on. Both can Diabetes Teethcause a build-up of blood sugar, which has damaging effects on your nerves and affects your body’s ability to heal.

Many of our San Leandro dentist patients are surprised to learn that diabetes’ effects extend to their oral health. Excess blood sugar not only circulates in your blood, it also builds up in the saliva. This attracts added bacteria in your mouth that can lead to plaque buildup. Over time, plaque buildup can cause tooth decay, cavities, bad breath and gum disease.

Those with poorly controlled diabetes are at increased risk for a number of dental conditions. These include fungal infections, such as thrush and oral candiasis, which cause sore patches on your gums, tongue and cheeks. Diabetes can also cause oral burning, which is a symptom of poorly controlled blood glucose. Dry mouth or xerostomia can also occur, resulting in an increased risk for dental decay.

Having diabetes does not always mean you will experience these difficulties. If you have good blood sugar control -- meaning you rarely have large fluctuations in blood sugar or very high blood sugar readings -- you will typically experience good dental health, providing you take excellent care of your teeth. This includes twice-daily brushing, daily flossing and visiting our San Leandro dentist’s office at least every six months. If you have experienced significant dental decay or symptoms related to your diabetes, Dr. Moy may recommend more frequent dental visits to reduce plaque buildup.

For more information on how diabetes affects your oral health or to make an appointent, please call our San Leandro dentist’s office at (510) 351-4030.