Did you know that 30.3 million people are living with diabetes in the United States? That is 9.4% of the total population according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report that was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes is a health condition that affects all individuals in the entire world. Early discovery of the disease through regular checkups can allow you to get treatment as soon as possible and potentially avoid more health complications.
If you discover that you have diabetes, it is essential to know how this disease increases the risk of developing various oral health conditions and how you can minimize them. This disease mainly affects the body’s ability to process sugar. The food you eat on a daily basis is all converted to sugar and utilized as energy.
If you are suffering from diabetes type I, your body doesn’t generate enough insulin, a hormone that distributes sugar to blood cells that require it for energy. In type II diabetes, the body completely stops responding to this hormone leading to high blood sugar levels which can result in oral health problems.
How Diabetes Affects your Oral Health
If you do not go for regular checkups and know your blood sugar levels, you will not know if you have this disease. If you don’t control it on time, the high levels of glucose or sugar in your saliva can affect the bacteria that live in your mouth making it flourish.
This will increase your risk for decay and infection. Also, the high level of sugar in your blood cells weakens your white blood cells making it difficult for the body to fight against other infections. Most oral problems for individuals with this disease include dry mouth, gum disease, difficulties in healing after any oral surgery process and thrush.
Diabetes and Gum Diseases
Periodontal or gum disease are as a result of the same bacteria that is responsible for your tooth decay. The bacteria release plaque which hardens to form tartar or calculus. This makes your gums to swell, bleed and redden. If this condition is not treated on time, it will lead to the distraction of the bones that hold your teeth in place.
Gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. Although you have higher chances of having a periodontal disease if you have high sugar levels in your blood, you can control this condition by managing your blood glucose level. You should ensure that you are keeping the level of your body sugar within the optimal range as directed by your doctor.
Diabetes and Oral Thrush
Thrush is a fungal infection that results from low amounts of saliva and high blood sugar levels. The high sugar levels in your saliva provide food to the normally occurring fungus in the mouth making it grow uncontrollably. This condition leads to the production of some red and white patches in your mouth. Thrush is not a serious oral problem, but if your body has a weak immune system, the infection can find its way into your blood system affecting other body organs. Also, diabetes can increase the level of complications after any oral surgery. If not controlled, high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of other infections after your oral surgery.