How are Oral Care and Diabetes Related?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to provide the body with the proper amount of insulin, or the body responds poorly to insulin that is being provided. There are two primary types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Gestational diabetes is a third type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Diabetes affects not only blood sugar levels but every single part of the body, including the eyes, skin, heart, brain, stomach, nervous system, and sexual health. It can also affect your oral health.
According to research, diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from bacterial infections such as gum disease. This is especially likely in those with poor blood glucose control. When blood sugar levels become too high, the glucose can appear in oral secretions. This glucose provides oral bacteria with fuel, which can multiply more quickly, colonizing the gums and creating the perfect environment for an infection. Gum disease can also make diabetes harder to control, so once the infection begins, it can progress faster and advance to more serious stages.
If you have diabetes, one of the best things you can do for your smile is to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Brush and floss carefully to remove plaque and bacteria, and use an alcohol-free antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria without drying out your mouth. Call our Northridge dentist today to learn more about how you can prevent diabetes from affecting your smile or to schedule your next checkup.
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