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How Does Diabetes Impact Oral Health?

Diabetes (any type) tends to make good dental health a much more difficult goal to achieve.

Poor oral health also makes diabetes harder to control. More than one in five diabetics will develop a form of gum disease, which can take a toll on overall health if untreated and even become life-threatening if the bacteria reach the bloodstream.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Symptoms of gum disease to watch for include swollen, red gums, chronic bad breath, gum recession, loosening teeth, and gums prone to bleeding. Diabetes makes these more likely as well as other problems like slower healing, dry mouth, enlarged salivary glands, fungal infections, burning mouth syndrome, and worse and more frequent infections.

What About Diabetes and Braces?

Gum disease can also be a challenge for orthodontic treatment, no matter what’s causing it. Parents of type 1 diabetic kids should be extra careful about controlling their diabetes and promoting good oral health habits. If they eventually need braces, they will then be in a good position to be able to go forward with orthodontic treatment.

Patients and Dentists Work Together for Oral Health

Diabetes makes it harder to maintain oral health, but not impossible. Good oral hygiene habits are essential, including daily flossing and twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Regular dental checkups and cutting out excess sugar are also key!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.