What Does My Dentist Have to Do With My Diabetes?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 2:51 pm

It is National Diabetes Health Month and it is time to talk about the importance of the health of your mouth and how it relates to managing diabetes.  Diabetes affects the lives of millions — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate about 24 million Americans have the disease.  Research studies completed in the past few years have proven the link between gum disease and diabetes.

One of the first signs of diabetes may be a change in the health of your gums.  People with diabetes are more prone to infection and the disease can cause gingivitis to progress very quickly to serious periodontal disease.  The Academy of General Dentistry urges patients with diabetes to adhere to a schedule of regular dental checkups and to be especially diligent when brushing and flossing their teeth.  The standard six month recall for dental hygiene appointments may not be enough for diabetic patients, depending upon the health of their gums, so appointments may need to be scheduled more often.

While gum disease can be a sign of diabetes it can also cause the diabetic patient to have a more difficult time managing their blood sugar levels.  Recent research has shown that treatment of infected gum tissue and proper management of periodontal disease in diabetic patients can make a difference in management of blood sugars.  While most diabetic patients would not think of ignoring their diabetic medication or miss testing their blood regularly, many avoid treating their oral health just because they don’t think it is that important.  A healthy mouth, free of infection is one of the goals a diabetic patient should set for themselves

If your gum tissue bleeds easily when brushing and flossing or appears puffy or red please schedule an appointment today.  Contact my Toccoa, Georgia full-service office today at 706-886-9439.  If you feel anxious about visiting a dental office please ask about your options for sedation dentistry – the anxiety-free method of receiving the care you need.

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Category: gum disease, oral health, sedation dentistry

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