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Diabetes and dental health


Diabetes and dental health


Do you know?

  • Diabetes affects dental health more than you think.
  • For patients with diabetes, dental issues will affect their ability to control sugar level and cause further damage to other organs, including the heart and arteries.
  • Therefore, keeping diabetes under control will help reduce the risk of Periodontitis. Moreover, proper dental care will also make it easier to control sugar level.

How would bad sugar level affect?

The most crucial thing for patients with diabetes is to control their sugar level. Improper sugar level associates with abnormal level of cholesterol in blood, resulting in early vascular degeneration which makes artery walls rough, hard and inelastic, increases the risk of arterial blockages and eventually causes the organs to become degenerative earlier than it should be. Due to aforementioned reasons, patients with diabetes who cannot control their sugar level are more vulnerable for many complications. For examples, they tend to have 4-10 times higher risk of having paralysis, 2-3 times higher chance of having mitral infarction, 5 times higher risk for renal failure and 25 times higher risk to have chronic leg ulcers that will end up in amputation.

Does dental health associate with diabetes?

Generally, when oral ulcers occur, our body will generate saliva to promote healing and prevent further oral infection. However, for patients with diabetes, their saliva is much less than normal people, causing oral irritation and much slower healing process. Many researches reveal that Periodontitis are likely to be found in both adults and children with diabetes, especially those who have extremely high blood sugar. They also have 3 times higher risk of seriously damaged gum, comparing to healthy people.

How serious would periodontal disease be while having diabetes?

Periodontal disease, in people with diabetes, will make sugar level control more complicated. It could lead to insulin resistance. Research has found that diabetes patient with severe periodontal disease are more likely to have thickened artery walls than people without gum diseases, also increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Moreover, diabetes patients with mild periodontitis tend to have 3 times higher risk of having end-stage renal disease.

However, improving your dental health, especially prevention of gum inflammation could help control diabetes effectively. Similarly, if the level of blood sugar can be controlled, the inflammation of gum will be reduced as well.

Tips to prevent gum diseases if you have diabetes

  • Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet, especially carbohydrate and fibers in suitable level, also control about foods and the body weight
  • Taking your diabetes medications on a regular schedule
  • Choose the exercise which is suitable with your body
  • Take care of your oral hygiene by brush your teeth twice a day. For people who have dentures, gently soak and brush your dentures after having a meal
  • Drink water at least 6 glasses per day
  • Visit the dentist routinely for a checkup at least 2 times per year, or when you have any abnormal symptoms such as uncontrolled blood sugar, swollen gum, bleeding gum, and drainage of pus.


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