Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole body, and an experienced dentist knows to look for certain oral health issues in people who suffer from it. Mark Stephens DMD, along with his friendly staff, is the dentist of choice for residents of Richmond, KY, who have diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million people in America have diabetes, and researchers have identified an increased prevalence of gum disease in those who have the disease.
Here are three other oral health issues that people with diabetes often suffer from:
- Dry Mouth: If left untreated, diabetes will decrease the production of saliva and result in dry mouth. Continuous dry mouth leads to soreness, infections, ulcers, and tooth decay.
- Gum Inflammation: A side effect of diabetes is thickened blood vessels, which reduce the rate at which nutrients flow to tissues through the body. Diabetes also weakens white blood cells, and this combination leads to bacterial infections like periodontal disease, which is characterized by severe inflammation of the gums.
- Thrush: People suffering from diabetes often take antibiotics to fight the various infections that result as a side effect of the disease. Patients are especially prone to developing fungal infections of the tongue and mouth. Thrush is an infection caused by yeast, which thrives on the saliva of people with diabetes because of its high glucose content. Thrush causes a burning sensation in the mouth, and in severe cases, it leads to fever and difficulty swallowing.
It is possible to reduce oral health issues associated with diabetes by maintaining normal blood sugar levels and visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings. If you are overdue for a visit to the dentist, turn to Mark Stephens DMD in Richmond, KY. Visit their website to learn more about the area’s favorite family dentistry practice, and call them at (859) 626-0069 to schedule an appointment today.