If you’re familiar with diabetes, you know that it, if left untreated, can cause a slew of health problems. Poorly managed diabetes puts patients at an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, nerve damage and many other serious issues.
But did you know that poorly managed diabetes can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease and dry mouth?
How Diabetes Relates to Your Teeth
Here at Top Down Dental, we’re not strangers to the concept that your body is completely connected. If one part of your body malfunctions, other parts will, too.
Typically, we discuss how problems with your oral health can cause issues in other areas of your body. Let’s flip the script: diabetes, left untreated, can lead to issues in the mouth.
We already know that eating foods high in sugar is bad for your teeth. Having high blood sugar means bad news for your teeth, too. The higher your blood sugar, the more acid that’s wearing away the enamel on your teeth, so your teeth are eroding and you might not even know it.
If you have diabetes, your body is also at a disadvantage when it comes to fighting bacteria. If you’re not regularly brushing your teeth and flossing, you’re not washing away the bad bacteria in your mouth. Then, your body has a harder time fighting that bacteria. Bad bacteria in the mouth can lead to gum disease as well as cavities.
Diabetes also affects saliva production, and can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth, at first, may not seem like a big deal. That is, until you consider its repercussions. Saliva is what helps you break down food and keeps the mouth clean. If you suffer from dry mouth, you’re at an increased risk of plaque development and mouth sores. Plus, because you have to chew your food more in order to break it down without saliva, you may develop jaw issues like temporomandibular joint disorders.
Protect Your Oral Health from Diabetes
While your diabetes itself needs to be treated by your primary care physician, here at Top Down Dental, dedicated holistic dentist Dr. Nancy Nehawandian can help keep your mouth healthy and ensure the symptoms of diabetes don’t invade the mouth. Here are a few ways you can discourage maladies from reaching the mouth:
- Brush twice a day and floss once daily to remove regular plaque buildup
- Discourage dry mouth by drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
- Let us know if you have diabetes so we can take note of any diabetes-related oral health concerns
- Visit us at Top Down Dental every six months for a dental deep clean
At your regular checkups, we will evaluate your at-home cleaning regimen, and recommend changes if we think that your diabetes requires special oral health care.
Don’t Let Your Diagnosis Rule You
Yes, your diabetes may put you at a greater risk of developing oral health issues. However, with a holistic dentist like Dr. Nancy Nehawandian, your health care isn’t confined to the lower third of your face.
If you believe your diabetes is affecting your oral health, or if you’re interested in learning more about how holistic dentistry can lead to a healthier you, please schedule an appointment with Top Down Dental in Los Gatos, California, at (408) 354-5600 or send us an email today.