DID YOU KNOW that November is Diabetes Awareness Month?
THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION estimates that 23.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes (whether it be type 1, type 2, or gestational). At least another 7 million remain undiagnosed, and that doesn’t include the additional millions who are considered pre-diabetic. But what does diabetes have to do with oral health? Unfortunately, quite a lot.
Diabetes And Gum Disease
Diabetes is a chronic disease that either means the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin (type 1) or that the body doesn’t use it effectively (type 2 and gestational), both of which cause elevated blood glucose. The most serious impact elevated blood glucose has on oral health is that it simultaneously weakens the immune system and provides more food for the bacteria that attack teeth and gums.
This two-pronged attack is why 22% of diabetics also have gum disease, whether in the early stages of inflammation (gingivitis) or in the advanced stages (periodontitis) that threaten the teeth, gums, and supporting bone. The bacteria that causes gum disease can also travel through the bloodstream and make it even harder to regulate blood sugar.
In addition to increasing the risk of gingivitis and periodontitis, uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a variety of other oral health problems, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Impaired or slower healing
- Increased severity and frequency of infections
- Fungal infections
- Salivary gland enlargement
What You Can Do
Now for the good news: even with diabetes, good oral health is within reach. Even better: keeping your teeth and gums healthy will also make the diabetes easier to manage! Make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, floss daily or use a water flosser or interdental brush, use a non-alcoholic mouthwash, and don’t smoke. Carefully regulating your sugar intake is a major factor as well.
The Dentist’s Role
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, the standard two dental exams per year may not be enough. To stay on the safe side, we recommend that you increase the number of yearly visits to three or four. It is also crucial for us to know how you and your doctor are working together to get it under control. Likewise, your doctor needs to know how we are working with you to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We can help you win the fight for your dental health!
Check out the winners of this years pumpkin contest! Thank you to all our amazing patients that voted and all the kind compliments we received. What will we come up with next year??
We are so happy that all the road construction around our office is done and to celebrate we are running a promotion on crown and bridge treatment! Starting Monday November 13th thru November 3oth we are offering a 10% discount on any crown and bridge work that is scheduled at select appointment times. Now is a great time to get any work that you have been holding off done because insurance dollars are about to expire as well. Give us a call today to schedule!
Starting November 20th thru December 10th we will be running a fun office giveaway for tickets to the new Star Wars movie! Check out all the easy ways to enter the contest and follow us on social media @sperbeckdental for all other office updates and contests!