Diabetes and Dental Health

senior man with glucometer checking blood sugar level at home November is American Diabetes Month. This month is an excellent time to talk to your physician about testing to determine if you might be at heightened risk for the disease or have an undiagnosed case. Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, and an estimated 90 to 95 percent of these cases are type 2, which is typically diagnosed in adulthood. If it has been over a year since your last blood panel, consider talking to your physician to undergo testing today.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the United States are living with pre-diabetes, a condition marked by elevated A1C levels that may not present any symptoms. However, some oral health conditions, including chronic dry mouth, may indicate a problem. If you suffer from frequent dry mouth, our dentists can provide additional information on diabetes risks to help you determine if testing might be a good idea.

How Diabetes Impacts Oral Health

Diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease, including periodontitis. This advanced form of gum disease can result in tooth loss and infections. Because diabetes can also impact the body’s ability to fight infection, periodontal disease can negatively impact your overall health by:

  • increasing risks for heart disease
  • putting you at risk for certain types of cancer
  • and elevating risks for dementia.

Treating gum disease early can help to prevent these issues.

Diabetes can increase chances for tooth decay and infection. Similar to periodontal issues, problems impacting your teeth respond best to swift treatment. Regular dental care, twice yearly, helps provide for prompt detection of oral health concerns.

Preventive Dentistry

Preventative dentistry is essential for optimal oral health. This includes biannual visits to our Landrum or Greenville office and a solid commitment to proper oral care at home. You can assist our dentists in keeping your teeth and gums at peak health by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once daily before you brush. If you are at increased risk for tooth decay, adding a fluoride mouthwash to your daily routine may also be helpful. During your next visit, we can evaluate your current practice to help you determine if additional steps will be beneficial.

At Wood Creek Dental, our staff and dentists are committed to helping patients achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful smiles while reducing risks for systemic disorders and disease. If you are overdue for a cleaning and examination, please call our Greenville location at 864-288-5300 or our office in Landrum at 864-457-3425 to schedule a visit today.

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