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Beyond Blood Sugar: The Hidden Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

oral health and diabetes

Diabetes, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, can strike at any age. It is crucial to fully understand its repercussions on various facets of health. If you're managing diabetes, you probably already know it can affect vital systems like the eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. However, many do not know its connection to oral health. During Diabetes Awareness Month in October, it is important to take a closer look at this hidden connection.

Diabetes can amplify the risk of oral health issues, and conversely, poor oral health can complicate diabetes management. Inflammation in the mouth can contribute to insulin resistance, making it harder for individuals with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. This creates a cyclical challenge, where the presence of one condition exacerbates the other.

This challenge contributes to the likelihood of those with diabetes grappling with periodontal (gum) disease. This infection takes hold of the gums and bones that support your teeth, potentially causing pain, persistent bad breath, chewing challenges, and, in severe cases, tooth loss. Diabetes can play a role in slowing down the healing process, making it a bit trickier to treat periodontal disease.

But that's not all. Other problems diabetes can cause are dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush, which causes painful white patches in your mouth. Dry mouth happens when your saliva isn't doing its job well. This fluid is crucial to keep your mouth feeling good and healthy. Without enough of it, you might experience discomfort, get ulcers, be more prone to infections, and even face the risk of tooth decay.

As we go through Diabetes Awareness Month, it's vital to appreciate the full scope of this condition. A comprehensive approach to healthcare is essential, embracing both systemic and localized aspects to ensure a healthier and happier life for those with diabetes. Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and awareness, can be your allies in managing this connection between diabetes and your oral well-being.

For more information or to make an appointment, please visit or call 855-PHD-CARE.