Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health complications in the U.S. and affects the body in numerous ways. It’s tied to many other diseases, and the mouth is a key area that can experience the effects. It’s imperative for people with diabetes to practice dental hygiene and visit the dentist. Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and oral health to ensure you or a loved one avoids potentially irreversible consequences.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes affects over 100 million U.S. adults, and that only includes cases that are diagnosed or considered prediabetes. This health issue occurs when blood glucose levels are too high. Due to decreased insulin production, glucose stays in the blood and doesn’t go on to fuel cells. It’s tied to heart disease, oral health issues, and vision issues. Common symptoms of oral health problems include dry mouth, gum inflammation, and burning sensations. Dental hygiene is a must, and you should alert your dentist of these symptoms as soon as possible.
How Are Diabetes & Gum Disease Connected?
High blood sugar levels weaken white blood cells. When decay-causing bacteria reach unprotected tooth roots and cause inflammation, the body isn’t able to defend against them, which is why people with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease. When untreated, gum disease leads to significant tooth loss and tissue damage. Gum disease has also been linked to cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurodegenerative complications once bacteria enter the bloodstream.
How Do You Prevent Diabetes?
To prevent diabetes, you need to maintain body weight through exercise and diet. Eat low-calorie, plant-based meals and stay hydrated throughout the day. You should exercise each day and take steps to reduce stress. Sufficient sleep also plays an important role, and by keeping up with dentist and doctor appointments, you can be confident your health is being monitored as needed.
For over 32 years, residents in Stone County, MO, have turned to Kimberling City Dental Center for all of their dental hygiene needs. Their skilled team offers an extensive scope of services, ranging from general care to cosmetic dentistry enhancements. Visit their website to learn more about their services, and call (417) 739-4965 today to schedule a teeth cleaning or whitening session.