Diabetics Are More Prone To Several Oral Health Problems

The term "diabetes mellitus" refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose, commonly called blood sugar. Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's your brain's main source of fuel.
 
If you have diabetes, no matter what type, it means you have too much glucose in your blood, although the reasons may differ. Too much glucose can lead to serious health problems.
 
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Potentially reversible diabetes conditions include prediabetes — when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes — and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.
 
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 24 million people have diabetes. Of that number, unfortunately, 5.7 million people are unaware that they have the disease. Diabetes can affect multiple parts of the body, including the kidneys, nerves, heart and even the mouth.
 
Because diabetics are more prone to several oral health problems, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, salivary gland dysfunction and infection, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) reminds diabetic patients of the importance of maintaining optimal dental health.
 
It is important to let your dentist know if you suffer from diabetes and if the disease is under control.
 
"At each dental visit tell your dentist about the status of your diabetes," said Dr. Bruce Terry, a PDA member and endodontist from Wayne. "Let the dentist know your most recent glycosylated hemoglobin (HgA1C) level to determine how well your diabetes is controlled. A good value should be under 7 percent. Inform your dentist of any recent hypo or hyperglycemic episodes. Uncontrolled diabetics are at higher risk for complications from local anesthetics (lidocaine) as well as complications with oral surgery and even simple tooth cleanings. If you take insulin, tell your dentist when you normally take insulin and when your last dose was taken."
 
Diabetic patients are at greater risk for tooth decay due to the presence of higher bacteria levels found in saliva when diabetes is not under control. As diabetes can lower resistance to infection, periodontal disease can develop.
 
You can find more dental office supplies and dental loupes at ishinerdental.com.
 

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