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Diabetes and Dental Health

January 31, 2024

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide and many overlook its profound connection to dental health. At Brixworth Dental Practice we encourage patients to give us a full medical history so that we can treat and advise them in a way that is most beneficial. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the intricate relationships between diabetes and oral health, whilst understanding the challenges you may face as well as learning how to maintain a healthy smile whilst managing diabetes.

Diabetes, (whether it is type 1 or 2) and dental health is intertwined in more ways than one, and here’s how:

• Increased Risk of Gum Disease: People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease (periodontitis). Elevated blood sugar levels can weaken the body’s ability to fight off bacterial infections in the mouth.

• Slower Healing: Diabetes can often slow down the body’s ability to heal, including oral tissues. This means that common dental procedures may take longer to recover from.

• Dry Mouth: Diabetes medications can sometimes cause dry mouth, increasing the risk of cavities and discomfort

• Tooth Decay: Diabetes can lead to a higher incidence of tooth decay due to changes in the patient’s saliva composition and a higher sugar intake in some diabetic diets.

Fortunately, there are several strategies our highly trained dental team recommend for you to take into consideration, so you can safeguard your dental health whilst managing diabetes:

• Try and schedule regular dental visits for cleanings and examinations and always make your clinician aware about your diabetes or any changes in your medical history so they can inform and provide you with the appropriate care.

• Maintaining blood sugar levels through medication, diet, and exercise. This will help prevent complications such as gum disease.

• Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss or interdental clean daily to reduce the risk of gum disease and to maintain good oral hygiene.

• Follow your healthcare provider’s advice for managing diabetes effectively. This will benefit both your overall health as well as your dental health.

• If you have dry mouth, consider sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production

• Be mindful of your diet and its impact on dental health. Limit sugar snacks and beverage sand opt for tooth-friendly options.  

The connection between diabetes and dental health is undeniable, but with the proper care and awareness we provide here at Brixworth Dental Practice, it is still possible for you to keep a healthy smile. By managing blood sugar levels, practicing good oral hygiene, and seeking professional dental care, you can minimise the dental challenges associated with diabetes associated with diabetes. Remember, a healthy mouth contributes to your overall well-being, so it is important to prioritise your dental heath as you manage your diabetes journey.

If you are worried about any implications regarding your diabetes and the effect it may have on your dental health, then please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our dental team will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.