November is National Diabetes Month! Today's BLOG takes a closer look at Diabetes and the Dental Connection! For nearly 30 million Americans who have diabetes, many may be surprised to learn about an unexpected complication associated with this condition. Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those patients with diabetes. Serious gum disease called periodontitis, has now been added to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Recent research also suggests that there is a two-way street between gum disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to periodontitis, but this painless, yet serious type of gum disease, may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of the overall disease itself. Further studies now report that people with diabetes are at a higher risk not only for periodontitis, but also for other oral health problems, such as gingivitis, fungal infections called thrush, mouth ulcers and cavities. Patients with diabetes are at an elevated risk for gum disease and these other dental problems because that are generally more susceptible to bacterial infections, and they have a decreased ability to fight the oral bacteria that invade the gums and tooth structures!
Controlling blood glucose is the first and foremost important aspect of preventing the dental problems associated with diabetes. Good blood glucose control can also help prevent or relieve diabetic dry mouth, which elevates the risk for tooth decay. Taking good care of your teeth and gums, along with regular dental checkups every six months, or as instructed by Our Dental Team, are further steps that can be taken to prevent the common dental problems associated with the disease.
As November focuses on Diabetes, don't allow this disease to negatively impact your oral health. If you are in need of an Appointment, or have any questions concerning the Dental Connection and Diabetes, call our office at 918-455-0123!