With diabetes, high blood sugar takes a toll on your entire body and that includes your teeth and gums. Regardless of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar is key to keeping your oral health in good condition.
The higher your blood sugar level, the higher risk you have of:
- Tooth decay - With a higher blood sugar level, you will have a higher amount of starches and sugars which results in more acid wearing away at your teeth.
- Early gum disease - Unfortunately, diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria, and plaque will build up. If you do not remove plaque with flossing or brushing, it can end up hardening under your gum line and irritate the gums around the base of your teeth. As this progresses into gingivitis, your gums will swell and bleed easily.
- Advanced gum disease - If early signs of gum disease are further untreated, it could lead to an even more serious infection called periodontitis. It can destroy the tissue and bone that support your teeth, eventually resulting in teeth loosening and falling out. This is much more severe to people with diabetes due to the lower ability to resist infection and slower healing. Such infection could cause your blood sugar to rise, and make managing diabetes much more difficult.
The key to preventing these possible complications is making a true commitment to managing diabetes and your oral health. Diabetic tooth care puts an importance on brushing and flossing at least twice a day, making sure you schedule regular dental visits and informing your dentist on your health condition, staying aware and alert for signs of gum disease, and avoiding smoking.
For more information or support for diabetic tooth care, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists - please call or visit Summerlyn Dental Care in Bradford, Ontario today!