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Keep Diabetes in Check With Excellent Oral Health Habits [BLOG]

You have diabetes. It’s not a phrase you were ever expecting to say, yet here it is. Flashes of fear and uncertainty and undoubtedly flashing through our mind, but there is hope.

Diabetes Awareness Month is here, and we are going to spend quite a bit of time helping you understand the relationship between diabetes and your oral health. According to the CDC, 9.4% of American citizens have diabetes. That’s an enormous number, especially when you consider that a large group of Americans are pre-diabetic.

So why are we talking about this on a dental blog? Shouldn’t we stay focused on teeth?

Yes! And that’s exactly why we are talking about diabetes this month. There is a strong and close relationship between the health of your mouth and the health of your body, especially for diabetic patients. Let’s look into this a little closer.

Understanding Connections Between Diabetes and Oral Health

You may be aware that your oral health has a great impact on your body. Research is discovering that the connection goes much deeper than previously realized. As of now, we know that gum disease in particular is connected with heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and low birthweight babies.

Today we are talking specifically about the relationship between gum disease and diabetes and how the two affect one another. In this case, it’s not just gum disease affecting diabetes, but diabetes can increase your risk of gum disease.

Diabetes commonly causes a lowered immune response, which means that a diabetic patient is more prone to developing bacterial infections, such as gum disease. Because gum disease is so prevalent (more than half of all adults will have gum disease), it is very likely that a diabetic patient will battle this infection.

Gum disease affects not only the mouth but the entire body and how it functions. So it can actually change the way your body processes sugar. In most cases, periodontal disease can make it very difficult for a person to keep their blood glucose levels in a safe range.

You can see that these two conditions are not only affecting one another – there is the potential for a downward cycle to happen. It is possible for a gum disease infection to cause diabetes to progress more rapidly. It is possible for diabetes to cause a gum disease infection to become detrimental.

Stop the Problem in its Tracks

It is possible to overcome a gum disease infection with the help of our team at Dores Dental. In fact, we help patients do this each and every day. Of course, when we are working with a patient who is diabetic, we know what we are up against. The road can be long and challenging, but success is possible. It begins with the basics:

  1. Brush Often and Effectively – Brush at least twice each day with an effective toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for at least two minutes each session.
  2. Floss, Floss, Floss – Flossing is one of the key components to beating gum disease for any and every patient. You must remove debris from between your teeth in order to protect your gums from infection.
  3. Visit Our Office – A regular schedule might mean visiting the dentist office twice per year. For patients living with periodontal disease, we recommend visiting 3 or 4 times per year so that we can stay on top of infections. Dr. Dores uses scaling and root planing as well as Arestin to remove infection and prevent it from returning.

We cannot say it enough – if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, you need to call our office at 413-241-3995 right now to schedule a visit with Dr. Dores and his team. Update us about your overall health so that we can adjust our strategy to keep your smile healthy.

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