November is National Diabetes Month, a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the disease and its impact on Americans. Most are familiar with the more common side effects and symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes, like loss of vision and kidney failure. Dr. David K. Skeels, a friendly family dentist in Rochester, NY, explains that the condition can also affect your oral health. Here, he discusses how, as well as the preventative measures you can take.
How Diabetes Affects Oral Health
People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease, especially if the condition is not managed well. Consistently high blood glucose levels cause the walls of vessels to gain fatty deposits, which restricts flow over time.
The mouth is incredibly vascular and requires sufficient circulation to fend off infection. Circulation throughout the gums provides nutrients and oxygen to promote a healthy mouth; but, if there is not enough blood flow, the area is deprived of the nutrients it needs to maintain its defense system. As a result, infections develop more readily and are also quicker to worsen, as reduced circulation cannot flush the bacteria out of the mouth fast enough.
What You Can Do to Prevent It
If you have diabetes, it is essential to control your blood sugar and take care of your mouth. This includes brushing three times a day and flossing daily. You should also visit your family dentist once every six months for a thorough oral exam. Between visits, avoid sweetened drinks, like sodas and juices.
If you have diabetes and are overdue for a professional teeth cleaning, turn to Dr. David K. Skeels in Rochester, NY. He provides quality comprehensive dental care services and strives to ensure every patient feels comfortable and informed. You can learn more about the preventative dentistry he offers by visiting his website. To schedule a free initial consultation and oral exam with the friendly family dentist, call (585) 467-7000 today.