Those with diabetes may not be aware of potential gum disease dangers. The link between periodontal disease, or gum disease, and diabetes is based on the body’s decreased immune system, which increases the likelihood of infections. However, there are certain steps you can take to help ensure that you maintain good oral health.
Strong diabetic control is essential for maintaining good oral health. Controlling blood sugar levels reduces the growth of bacteria, which thrive on these sugars. Bacteria can cause harm when it is present inside the mouth in high quantities. If bacteria are left to grow unhindered, it can lead to gum disease. Therefore, it is important to limit sugars and to follow the advice of your general doctor. Not only will it help your overall health, but it will help your oral health as well.
Smoking naturally puts anyone at risk for oral complications, but even more so if the smoker has diabetes. According to WebMD, “If you are a smoker with diabetes, age 45 or older, you are 20 times more likely than a person without these risk factors to get severe gum disease.” Even for younger smokers, with the prevalence of increased infections for those with diabetes, smoking puts them further at risk for oral problems that often leads to gum disease.
Dry mouth is often a symptom present in those who have undetected diabetes. Even when your diabetes has been diagnosed, you may still suffer from dry mouth. One common cause of dry mouth is prescription drugs. This complication can lead to ulcers, infections, and even tooth decay. Saliva is a natural barrier against the growth of bacteria. If your mouth does not naturally form enough saliva, you may need “artificial saliva” in order to keep your mouth healthy. You can also use oral rinses designed specifically for those with dry mouth.
To help ensure that you are able to maintain good oral health, it is helpful to schedule regular visits with a periodontist in Miami, FL. Drs. Bradley and Scott Ross can meet with you to address any concerns and to give you a thorough examination. Call our office at 305.270.1350.