Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to process sugar. Glucose is a type of sugar that is found in food. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body process sugar. When you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels are too high. Over time, this harms your body's ability to process sugar.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both related to blood sugar levels in the body. In people with diabetes, the body is unable to properly use the sugar found in food as energy, leading to high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. Over time, this can lead to serious complications like kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, foot ulcers, erectile dysfunction, and other whole-body issues. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults in America.
People with diabetes often have more dental problems than other people who do not have diabetes. This is because of the changes in blood sugar caused by diabetes. When your blood sugar is too low, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, which can increase your risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
When your sugars are high, it can cause problems with your gums. It can also cause your mouth to be dry. A dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities or infection. Teeth can stick to the gum line more often with someone who has diabetes.
Over time, people with diabetes may get tooth enamel that is softer than normal, which increases the chances of getting a cavity. Your gums may be red and swollen if you have high blood sugar levels. Gum disease is also more likely in people who have diabetes. Be sure to brush twice a day and have regular cleanings and checkups to help keep your teeth healthy when you have diabetes.
If your blood sugar is high for a long period of time, you can get an infection in your teeth and gums called diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
If you smoke or have poor eating habits, it can make your diabetes worse. This means that you are at risk for additional dental problems and should visit your dentist often and maintain good oral hygiene habits.
Research suggests that patients with uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. This is because both diseases affect how the body responds to infection and trauma, including the mouth. When a patient with diabetes has a wound in the mouth, they may have a lower tolerance for pain than someone without the disease. As a result, they may not be able to properly care for their oral wounds and see a dentist for treatment in a timely manner. This puts them at increased risk for severe infections that can damage soft tissue and bone inside the mouth.
Get in touch with Karen J Harris & Associates at 2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103, or call (314) 231-4893 to learn more.