Karen J Harris, DMD & Associates

Relationship Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Relationship Between Diabetes and Oral Health

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.

How Are Diabetes And Oral Health Related?

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 our dentist in St. Louis, MO, 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 in St. Louis, MO, 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. Contact us to learn more!

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health with Diabetes

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for everyone, but it becomes even more important if you have diabetes. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy with dental hygiene in St. Louis, MO, while managing your condition.

  • Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. This helps remove plaque buildup that can lead to gum disease.
  • Floss daily to clean between the teeth where your toothbrush may not reach. This helps prevent cavities and gum inflammation.
  • Additionally, visit our dentist in 63103 regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can spot early signs of oral health issues and provide personalized advice based on your diabetes management.
  • Moreover, control your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of oral infections.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This helps wash away food particles and bacteria that can cause decay.

By following these tips consistently, you can maintain good oral health while effectively managing diabetes.

Get in touch with our office, Karen J Harris & Associates, at 2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103, or call (314) 231-4893 to learn more. Our team will be happy to have you here!


2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103

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Email: kharrisdmd@sbcglobal.net

Phone: (314) 231-4893