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Diabetes and Oral Health


Can diabetes affect the teeth? How can one avoid oral problems associated with the disease?

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels. This can affect many parts of your body, including your teeth and gums. Because of elevated blood sugar, diabetics are prone to tooth decay or cavities and gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis.

The high supply of sugar and starches in a diabetic’s mouth causes a sticky substance called plaque to easily form on the teeth. This destroys the hard, outer surface or enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities.

If plaque isn’t removed by means of brushing or flossing, it hardens under the gumline and forms into tartar or calculus. This irritates the gums, causing them to swell and bleed easily – a condition known as gingivitis.

Untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. The soft tissue and bone that support teeth are destroyed until your teeth loosen and fall out.

“Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control,” said the Mayo Clinic.

All this can be avoided with proper dental care. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar level and control it with the right medicines. Brush your teeth at least twice a day – in the morning and at night or preferably after every meal.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t irritate your gums. Floss your teeth at least once a day and visit your Houston dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning.

“Report any signs of gum disease - including redness, swelling and bleeding gums - to your Houston dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms, such as dry mouth, mouth sores or mouth pain,” the Mayo Clinic concluded.

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Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you explain the process
By: jbk | 22-09-2008
heart and respiratory failure as a consequence of diabetic ketoacidosis  is the cause of the cardiorespiratory failure the very high sugar level or the level of dehydration?

Can a diabetic on insulin lose weight
By: Mary Lou | 20-09-2008
can a diabetic on insulin lose weight

How do I get information about SUPER FOODS aired
By: mannymathews | 20-09-2008
How do I get information about SUPER FOODS aired

By: Tom | 18-09-2008
Does it matter which finger to use for fingerstick

How do I know if I have Diabetes?
By: hisgirl413 | 18-09-2008
How do I know if I have Diabetes?

Do you think diabetes is serious enough to revieve free help from the state or goverment
By: Rebecca | 13-09-2008
How can I get the doctors in my state to understand that the illness I have is not going to get any better,unless I can get some help,from the gov.And it is not going to go away,I will always have it

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