November is upon us—the time of year when we can be grateful for our good health. Yet, it’s also a good time to take a step back and reevaluate our overall health. Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14th is World Diabetes Day, we simply can’t ignore the fact that 29.1 million people living in the United States alone have diabetes. And you can’t forget about the 8.1 million people living with diabetes that don’t even know they have it.
In honor of Dr. Fredrick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin back in 1921, dentists and health practitioners alike draw awareness to this disease to halt it’s epidemic. Your dentist in Midtown East is here to shed light on the correlation between oral health and diabetes.
Diabetes and Oral Health: What Your Dentist Sees
The warning signs of diabetes can be spotted throughout your whole body—including your mouth. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes are constant thirst or frequent urination. Extreme fatigue is also another well-known symptom.
When patients choose to ignore these warning signs of advancing diabetes, they may also experience these problems with their oral health, such as:
- Experience chronic dry mouth.
- Tend to have more frequent cavities because of the lack of saliva in the mouth.
- Find oral lacerations and wounds heal noticeably slower than normal.
- Are more susceptible to infections inside the mouth.
- Become more at risk for gum disease and tooth loss.
Diabetics are Considered High-Risk Dental Patients
The truth is that every patient is susceptible to developing gum disease if they don’t care for their smile as they’re supposed to. Diabetic patients, on the other hand, have a much higher risk for quickly developing advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy gums and the tissues that hold your teeth in place. The link between diabetes and periodontal disease is the body’s weakened blood sugar control. The immune system is compromised, making it harder to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
Your Dentist Can Help Diabetics Develop a Dental Plan
Regular dental visits with the Drs. Boyd in Midtown East are critical to maintaining good health! It’s proven that treating gum disease can improve blood sugar levels and slow down the progression of gum disease before it advances to periodontal disease.
Here are a few things you can do with the help of your dentist to improve your health if you have diabetes:
- Control your blood sugar levels by consistently using your medications as directed.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Exercise more often.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol products.
- If you have dental prosthetics, clean them daily.
- Practice excellent at-home dental hygiene, remembering daily flossing is essential.
- Schedule your dental checkups and cleanings.
If you’re unsure about your diabetic status, visit your primary physician to be tested. If you already have diabetes and are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, ask your dentist about periodontal therapy in Midtown East to help revitalize your oral health.
About Drs. Boyd
Every aspect of your health is important to our dental professionals at Drs. Boyd, not just the health of your mouth. We view each day as a new opportunity to treat people with compassion and concern as we help them improve their oral health and their well-being. If you ever have questions about your oral health or how one of our dental experts can help you manage your diabetes, feel free to call our Midtown East Office.