If you are living with diabetes, you know that it’s important to keep your blood sugar under control. But did you know that high blood sugar can also cause problems in your mouth? Poorly managed diabetes can put you at higher risk for developing numerous oral health issues. There is good news, however; by properly managing your blood sugar and practicing good oral hygiene, you can reduce this risk and keep your mouth healthy.
How High Blood Sugar Puts You at Risk
Poorly controlled blood sugar levels take a toll on your mouth and may lead to conditions such as:
- Gum disease– Diabetes can make it harder for your body to defend itself against infections of any kind. As a result, it can increase your chances of developing gum disease, a bacterial infection that attacks the gum tissue and bones around teeth. Early symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums that bleed after normal brushing or flossing.
- Salivary Gland Dysfunction- Your salivary glands control how much saliva is in your mouth, but diabetes can impair their function. This may result in less saliva in your mouth. Although you may not realize it, saliva protects and can even repair teeth. If your salivary glands aren’t producing enough of it, you are more vulnerable to tooth decay.
- Cavities- Unmanaged diabetes can increase the sugar levels in your saliva in addition to your blood. This sugar feeds the bacteria that is naturally present in your mouth, causing more plaque to form. Plaque, a colorless, sticky film that forms on your teeth, can lead to cavities if not removed by brushing and flossing.
- Oral Thrush- This condition, also called candidiasis, occurs when a fungus develops around the lining of your mouth. Thrush can cause white lesions to appear on your tongue or inside your cheeks. It may also lead to soreness that can make eating difficult.
Schedule An Appointment
At East Market Dental, our goal is to help you improve and maintain your oral health. Dr. Deepti Sareen and Dr. Julia Kondratyuk can help you address any oral problems related to diabetes. To make an appointment at our Fairfax, VA dentist office, call (703) 291-0198 or request an appointment online.