The Relationship Between Diabetes and Dental Health Explained

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The Relationship Between Diabetes and Dental Health Explained
People with diabetes have a bigger chance of developing periodontal disease, an infection of the bone and gum that holds their teeth. Likewise, those with crooked teeth are at a greater risk of developing gum disease and diabetes. Globally, oral diseases affect around 3.5 billion people, and the periodontal disease affects 10% of the world's population. Most oral diseases and problems are entirely preventable, though. With proper dental health and oral care, you can keep your body and teeth healthy. Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between diabetes and oral care and what you can do to stay healthy.

What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Also known as periodontitis, periodontal (gum) disease is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. It can lead to tooth loss and is also a risk factor for both lung and heart diseases. Symptoms include:
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath that won't let up
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Longer appearing teeth
Initial treatment includes deep professional cleaning in and around all the pockets around the teeth, which prevents damage to any surrounding bone. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. Smoking is the most significant risk factor for gum disease, and it can make treatment less successful. Many individuals with gum disease opt to stop smoking in a commitment to better their oral hygiene and health. Some other risk factors for gum disease are:
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications that lessen saliva
  • Certain illnesses and their medications
  • Genetic susceptibility

What Is Diabetes?

Just like periodontitis, diabetes is a disease. It occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) is too high. We all need blood glucose as it provides energy and comes from all the different foods we eat. Insulin helps glucose from our food transmit to our cells so that we can use it for energy. Sometimes the body doesn't create enough of the hormone insulin, or it doesn't use the insulin properly. As a result, the glucose stays in one's blood and doesn't reach the cells and become energy. As time goes on, having too much sugar in your blood can cause significant health problems. While there is no cure for diabetes, there are many things you can do to manage it and stay healthy. If you don't have diabetes, there are plenty of ways to make sure you don't get it.

How Are Gum Disease and Diabetes Related?

When blood sugar is poorly controlled, problems with the teeth and gums are much more likely to develop. Diabetes weakens white blood cells. White blood cells are the body's main defense against bacterial infections, especially those that occur in the mouth. Maintaining control over blood sugar levels significantly lowers the risk of major organ complications such as heart, eye, and nerve damage. Controlling blood sugar levels also protects against the development of serious oral health issues, too.

Oral Health Problems Associated with Diabetes

In addition to weakening white blood cells, diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken. When blood vessels thicken, it slows the flow of nutrients to the body. Plus, it slows the flow of waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. When these things happen, the body can't fight infections to the same degree, if at all. Gum disease is a bacterial infection, so people with uncontrolled diabetes might experience gum disease that is more frequent or severe. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause dry mouth, too, which leads to ulcers, soreness, tooth decay, and infections. Individuals with uncontrolled diabetes have a hard time healing quickly after oral surgery and other dental procedures because blood flow can be damaged. Many people with uncontrolled diabetes must frequently take antibiotics to fight infections and sicknesses. For those who do take a lot of antibiotics, they are more susceptible to developing a fungal infection in the tongue and mouth. Fungus thrives on the high glucose that's in the saliva of those who have uncontrolled diabetes. The presence of thrush can then lead to a burning tongue and mouth. People who have diabetes and also smoke are at an even higher risk of developing oral issues like thrust or gum disease. They're up to 20 times more likely to develop oral problems than those who don't smoke.

How Straight Teeth Can Make a Difference

Did you know that having crooked teeth can increase your chances of developing diseases like diabetes, gum disease, and heart disease? For people who have crooked teeth, their chances of developing gum disease can increase by up to 50%. Crooked teeth cause issues during cleaning routines. Most people with crooked teeth express that they have too many hard-to-reach areas when flossing and brushing their teeth. These areas are prone to plaque build-up, which can quickly turn into gum disease. Gum disease can then lead to several other diseases, such as kidney disease and various heart conditions. Making your teeth straight is an excellent preemptive step to ensuring excellent oral health and physical health. Plus, long gone is the need for bulky, obtrusive braces. Invisible Aligners allow you to straighten your teeth during the day or when you sleep with ease! All you have to do is create an impression of your teeth, map out your treatment plan, and then straighten your teeth! The process is direct to consumer, and we have a variety of payment plan options available. Regardless of which plan you choose, you could pay up to 60% less than braces!

Don't Wait on Dental Health

Do you want to take better care of your teeth and body? Would you like to improve your dental health? Straightening your teeth is an excellent step in the preventative care process for both your oral health and your body. Dentists will tell you that gum disease and diabetes often go hand-in-hand, which is why it's vital to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Do you want to find out if Invisible Aligners can help? Get started by taking our free assessment, or contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here to help with your beautiful, healthy smile!

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