Did you know that 29.1 million people living in the United States have diabetes? In fact, just about 1.7 million cases are diagnosed each year. The most shocking statistic of them all is that 8.1 million people living with diabetes aren’t even aware that they have it!
Did you know that diabetes doesn’t just affect your general health and blood sugar levels, but it causes oral health complications as well? What does it have to do with your smile and what can you do to fix it? Dr. Burr, your Cocoa dentist, offers comprehensive preventive care and periodontal treatment to help combat the negative effects of diabetes. Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of diabetes, how it’s affecting your oral health, and how we at Advanced Dental Care can help you.
How Diabetes Impacts Your Smile
The warning signs of diabetes can be spotted throughout your whole body—including your mouth. Some general signs of diabetes are constant thirst or frequent urination. Extreme fatigue is also another common symptom. If you leave diabetes to advance for too long it will start to affect your oral health as well. Here’s how:
- Patients experience chronic dry mouth.
- Patients tend to have more frequent cavities because of the lack of saliva in the mouth.
- Patients oral lacerations and wounds heal noticeably slower than normal.
- Patients become more susceptible to infections inside the mouth.
- Patients become more at risk for gum disease.
Diabetics are High-Risk Dental Patients
Everyone is susceptible to developing gum disease if they don’t care for their smile as they’re supposed to. Diabetic patients, on the other hand, are more at risk for quickly developing advanced gum disease (periodontitis). This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy gums—the tissues holding your teeth in place. Diabetic patients experience periodontal problems because of poor blood sugar control. The disease causes sugar levels to rise, in turn making diabetes more difficult to control. Not to mention, your immune system is compromised, making it harder to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
A Dental Plan for Diabetics
Regular dental visits with your dentist in Cocoa are extremely important! It’s proven that treating gum disease can improve blood sugar levels and slow down the progression of the disease before it becomes periodontitis. Working openly with Dr. Burr will help to keep your smile healthy and potentially help slow down your diabetes. Here are a few things you and your dentist can do to help improve your health if you have diabetes in Cocoa:
- Control your blood sugar levels by consistently using your medications as directed.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Exercise more often.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol products.
- If you have dental prosthetics, clean them daily.
- Practice excellent at-home dental hygiene.
- See your dentist for regular dental checkups.
If you’re unsure about your diabetic status, visit your primary physician to be tested. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes or not, Advanced Dental Care is here to support you while we work on getting your general and dental health back on track. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today!