How Can Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

How Can Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

How Can Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While it's well-known that diabetes can affect various parts of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and heart, not many know that it can also have a profound effect on oral health. In fact, people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease than those without this condition! 

How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

Diabetes can affect your oral health in various ways. High blood sugar levels can reduce the flow of saliva in your mouth, leading to dryness and making it easier for bacteria to thrive. This is because saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Moreover, diabetes can weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infections such as gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up on teeth and gums, causing inflammation and eventually leading to tooth loss if left untreated. People with diabetes are more prone to developing severe gum disease due to their compromised immune systems.

Additionally, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to slow healing after dental procedures such as extractions or oral surgery. High blood sugar levels interfere with the body's natural healing process, making it more difficult for wounds in the mouth to heal properly. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to dry mouth, weakened immunity against infections like gum disease, and slow healing times after dental procedures - all of which have a negative impact on oral health.

The Link Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body's ability to process sugar. It can also impact oral health, particularly when it comes to gum disease.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria in plaque build up on teeth and gums. This causes inflammation and irritation that can lead to bleeding gums, pain while chewing or brushing teeth, and even tooth loss. Studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease than those without the condition. The reason for this link is not entirely understood, but researchers believe high blood sugar levels may impair white blood cells from fighting infections in the mouth.

Additionally, people with diabetes tend to have slower healing times which means if they do develop gum disease, their recovery time may be longer than someone without diabetes. It's important for individuals with diabetes to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as regular dental check-ups and daily flossing and brushing. A healthy diet low in sugars and carbohydrates is also recommended since elevated glucose levels can exacerbate gum inflammation.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy if You Have Diabetes

Keeping your teeth healthy is essential for everyone, but it's even more important if you have diabetes. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing oral health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth. However, there are several things you can do to keep your teeth healthy.

It's crucial to maintain good blood sugar control by monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly. High blood sugar levels can lead to increased plaque buildup on your teeth and gums, which can cause gum disease and other dental issues.

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove any food particles that may be stuck between the teeth. Additionally, using an antibacterial mouthwash will help kill bacteria in the mouth that could lead to infection or bad breath.

Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year or more frequently if recommended by your dentist. Dental professionals will be able to identify any potential problems early before they become major issues.

Quit smoking as it increases your chances of developing gum disease, besides complications related to diabetes.

By following these simple steps consistently along with maintaining good oral hygiene practices like brushing techniques taught by dentists, you'll significantly reduce the risk of serious oral health problems associated with diabetes while keeping up general well-being too!

Please reach out to our dental practice at 17952 SW Blanton St, Aloha, OR 97078, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bronitsky. Call us at (503) 649-5665 or schedule an online consultation. 


17952 SW Blanton St,
Aloha, OR 97078

Office Hours

MON - TUE8:00 am - 5:00 pm

WED7:00 am - 4:00 pm

THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRIBy appointments only

SAT - SUNClosed