By Kate Ranta on Nov 1, 2013 @ 10:00 AM
Did you know oral health plays a significant role in the body's overall health, particularly when it comes to certain chronic conditions such as diabetes? Diabetes affects how a person’s body processes blood sugar. If you have diabetes, you have too much sugar in your blood, which can lead to serious health problems. It’s the leading cause of new cases of adult blindness, lower limb loss that is not trauma-related and kidney function problems. And, it’s the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
Those are some scary stats. But, there are ways to keep your blood sugar in check and keep yourself healthy. One of them is seeing your dentist!
How Can My Dentist Help My Diabetes?
When bacteria builds up in your mouth and under your gums, it can cause gum disease, also known as gingivitis. This irritates the sensitive gum tissue and causes swelling and pain. People with gum disease often notice that their gums bleed when they brush their teeth or floss. If left untreated, gum disease can eventually destroy the bone and soft tissues that hold your teeth in place. They can even become loose or fall out.
Unfortunately, those with diabetes are more prone to gum disease because their bodies have a harder time fighting off bacteria. If gum disease develops and a deep infection sets in, it can make blood sugar levels rise and be hard to control, even with blood sugar medicines.
Regular Cleanings Can Prevent Gum Disease
While brushing and flossing every day at home goes a long way to preventing cavities and gum disease, there are some places you just can't reach with your toothbrush. Everyone should visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to keep bacteria from building up under the gum line. But, this is especially important for people with diabetes whose blood sugar levels will benefit greatly from a healthy, clean and infection-free mouth. Schedule your next appointment today!