How Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

If you suffer from diabetes, you know that it is essential to monitor and control your blood glucose levels. Diabetes can affect many different areas of your body, including your mouth. Without the right precautions, you may end up suffering from gum disease and tooth loss, and may ultimately need to see your dentist about getting dentures in Manassas, VA. Here is a closer look at the ways in which diabetes can impact your oral health.

Gum Disease How Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque along the gum line which irritates the gums and leads to inflammation and infection. Plaque is a sticky film that consists of bacteria and food particles, and the bacteria that form plaque thrive when blood glucose levels are high. This means that individuals with diabetes—especially uncontrolled diabetes—are at greater risk for gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss and the need for tooth replacements such as dentures or dental implants.

Tooth Decay

In addition to causing gum disease, plaque accumulation can lead to tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque eat away at the structure of teeth, leading to cavities. If cavities are not treated promptly, they can reach the inner structure of teeth and lead to the need for root canals or even tooth extraction.

Oral Thrush

Thrush, also called candidiasis, is a fungal infection that can grow in the mouth. It occurs when fungus that naturally occurs in the body grows to excessive levels. The fungus that causes thrush feeds on sugar, so having high blood glucose levels due to diabetes can increase your risk for oral thrush. This condition can cause sores to form inside the mouth, including on the gums, tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth.

Dry Mouth

One of the common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is dry mouth, which is also called xerostomia. In addition to being uncomfortable, dry mouth can make it difficult to chew and swallow and may also increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. This is another reason why it is essential to keep blood glucose levels within the range recommended by your doctor and to schedule family dentistry check-ups on a regular basis. With swift intervention, these oral health issues can be treated without the need for permanent dentures, dental veneers, and other restorative dental treatments.

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