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The Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Nov 26 2021, 09:15 PM

The Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

If you’ve heard of diabetes you likely have heard of the struggles many diabetics face to control sugars and stay active and healthy. But another problem many diabetics face that may come as a surprise to those without (and with!) diabetes is the struggle to maintain oral health. As challenging as our oral health may become as we age, it can be much more difficult with diabetes.

It often starts with diabetes medication. Necessary for many diabetics to survive, some of the medications used to control diabetes can cause an oral health condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when the body struggles to produce saliva, and causes the mouth to dry out. This in turn causes discomfort, bad breath, and worse. Due to the lack of saliva, dry mouth can cause the dangerous cavity-causing bacteria, s.mutans, to flourish in the mouth, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease.

As if gum disease weren’t bad enough for your gums, it can have a negative impact on your entire body, due to the inflammation and bacteria that enters your bloodstream through your gums. This can accumulate throughout the body, worsening pre-existing medical conditions. In fact gingival bacteria has been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients post-mortem!

So, what can you do if you’re diabetic and concerned about your oral health? Don’t despair. Dr. Abelar can help!

First and foremost, if you do have any conditions such as diabetes, let Dr. Abelar know. This way he can stay in communication with your primary care physician if the need arises. Next, if you are experiencing any medication side-effects such as dry mouth, discuss this with Dr. Abelar, as there are products designed to help moisturize the mouth and stave off any excess bacteria that might otherwise flourish due to dry mouth.

Finally, be sure to stay on your medications as prescribed and visit Dr. Abelar for regular exams and cleanings. Staying on top of your health - including your oral health-  is the best way to manage your diabetes.

To schedule an appointment for a dental exam with Dr. Abelar, please contact the office today!

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