Diabetes is a condition that affects your body’s ability to control blood glucose levels. If you have Type I diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, a substance which transports sugar from your blood to the body’s cells. If you have Type II diabetes, your body doesn’t respond to insulin as it should. In both cases, you’re more likely to have problems with your oral health.

Diabetes impacts your dental health in many ways, for instance:

-Patients with diabetes often experience dry mouth, where there’s less saliva than usual. Saliva serves an important function, helping to wash away food particles and acids. The build-up of these in your mouth can cause tooth decay.

-Diabetes can slow the healing process from wounds, so those who have dental surgery may struggle with a slower recovery time. These patients are also more susceptible to infections. Proper care and treatment will help you avoid or minimize these risks.

-Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. Both early gum disease, known as gingivitis, and serious gum disease known as periodontitis are more likely to occur in diabetes patients.

-If you struggle to control your blood sugar levels, your risk for gum disease will increase. Equally, some research has suggested that gum disease may impact a person’s ability to maintain stable blood glucose levels.

-If you suffer from diabetes, you may have a higher chance of needing a dental implant or bridge. Unfortunately, the same issues that tend to cause gum disease in diabetic patients can also make it more difficult for them to get implants and bridges. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get this treatment if you have diabetes, just that you will need to work more closely with your dentist to explore and understand your options.

If you have diabetes, let your dentist know.  We can alert you to early signs of gum disease, cavities, and other problems, so you can get prompt treatment and maintain good oral health.

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