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Managing Diabetes and Oral Health

Millions of people live with diabetes, a chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates the sugar content within the blood. Both high and low blood sugar will impact the function of many organs, so managing this condition is key to your overall well-being.

Inflammation within the body can affect blood sugar. So if you suffer from inflammation, then you may have trouble managing diabetes. About half of adults in the United States suffer from an infection of the gum tissue called periodontal disease, which can cause discomfort in the gums, including inflammation. This effect may trigger difficulties in patients who also have diabetes.

Both gum disease and diabetes can play a major role in your health, so keep an eye on these conditions. You can better handle them when you know more about them. Explore the connection between diabetes and the health of your gums and the rest of your smile when you read on.

Managing Diabetes and Oral Health

Can Gum Disease Affect Diabetes Management?

As mentioned, patients with gum disease can have a harder time managing diabetes. They can also face a greater risk of developing diabetes. But what makes gum disease affect blood sugar so significantly?

When bacteria infect the gums, the damage results in inflammation, which looks like swelling, redness, and irritation in the soft tissue. Though you can see inflammation in the gums, the reaction triggers a systemic response that affects the entire body. One of the effects is heightened blood sugar.

This change in blood sugar can disrupt existing efforts to manage diabetes. So you should avoid contracting gum disease as well as you can. If you develop gum disease, you will need to visit your dentist to treat the infection. It will not resolve on its own.

How Does Diabetes Influence Oral Health?

Though gum disease can affect the management of diabetes, patients with diabetes can also see an increased danger of gum problems as well. If you have diabetes, you might have more glucose in the saliva. Glucose can collect on the teeth and encourage plaque formation, a sticky film that breeds and spreads oral bacteria.

When oral bacteria can travel with greater ease through the mouth, then you face a higher chance of contracting an oral infection like gum disease. Plus, excess bacteria can put your smile in greater danger of cavities. When you properly care for diabetes, you can avoid these threats to your smile.

How Can I Maintain a Healthy Smile with Diabetes?

Though diabetes can increase certain oral health risks, you can still keep your smile looking and feeling its best. Managing your underlying health condition will make this easier. But you should also prioritize preventive dental care.

This means practicing good at-home oral hygiene and attending routine dental check-ups as recommended by your dentist. Your dentist can also offer additional advice regarding oral health and other medical conditions when you give their office a call.