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Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted on Mar 15, 2018

Can Diabetes affect your teeth?

According to the American Dental Association, individuals with diabetes have a much greater chance of losing teeth or developing periodontal disease over their lifetime. In fact, 25% of people with diabetes also have periodontal disease. Additionally, poor oral health is associated with an increased risk for developing diabetes and makes controlling diabetic conditions, such as blood sugar levels, much more difficult. Maintaining good oral health may even help lower your A1C levels.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?

When excessive bacteria-containing plaque is left on the teeth on a our bodies respond with an inflammatory process.  Excellent oral hygiene can prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that will lead to periodontal disease. Daily oral hygiene habits should always include:

  • Brushing twice daily for a full 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush
  • Flossing below the gumline once daily

Additional, oral hygiene habits that effectively remove plaque and kill bacteria include:

  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash

What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is caused when an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth lead to inflammation of the gum tissues.  If plaque is not removed daily, it can harden into a substance called calculus or tartar. This calculus cannot be effectively removed with brushing and flossing alone.  Some of the signs and symptoms of periodontal or gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen, sore, or red gums
  • Receding gums or gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in bite alignment

The only way to know for sure if you have periodontal disease is to have an examination by a dentist or dental hygienist. The current stand of care to properly assess periodontal conditions is:

  • A full mouth series of dental x-rays at least once every 5 years
  • A full mouth periodontal probing assessment annually

What if I already have periodontal disease?

Effective treatment of periodontal disease is possible. The first step in treatment is removal of the plaque, calculus, and bacteria. This procedure is usually completed by a dental hygienist in as little as two appointments. The dentist and hygienist will then make further recommendations, personalized to your individual needs, for homecare and follow-up care.

How can Crystal Coast Dentistry help?

Dr. Jeff Scott and his team are highly qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease.  Their state-of-the-art digital imaging software and detailed periodontal charting regiment will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your periodontal condition. Please don’t hesitate to contact Crystal Coast Dentistry with additional questions about periodontal disease or diabetes. Let us help you control and maintain your diabetes with excellent oral health.

Click to call from mobile 252-393-8168