People who live with diabetes know that the disease does not just affect one body system—it affects all of them. As part of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Dr. Dan Knellinger, Dr. Stacey Verkler and Dr. Carol Bou-Sliman of Knellinger Dental Excellence would like to teach our clients about how diabetes can affect oral health. If you have diabetes in Palm Harbor, FL, the following can help you understand why problems occur and what you can do to prevent them.
Glucose Feeds Bacteria
If your diabetes is not well-controlled, then the elevated glucose levels in your bodily fluids can lead to various health complications. Germs thrive on glucose, which is why glucose-rich saliva can lead to gum disease. Frustratingly, gum disease can actually cause blood sugar levels to spike even higher.
Diabetes Thickens Blood Vessels
One responsibility of your blood vessels is to carry nutrients to and wastes away from your mouth tissues. Because diabetes causes your blood vessels to thicken, this waste removal process is slowed, leading to a buildup of germs.
While your diabetes may put you at greater risk for developing gum disease, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing it by following a few steps:
· Maintain good oral hygiene habits, including thorough brushing, regular flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.
· Regularly visit your dentist for routine cleanings and inspections.
· Control glucose levels in order to minimize the growth of germs in the mouth.
· If you smoke, stop. People with diabetes who smoke are 20 times more likely to develop gum disease.
We Are on Your Side
Here at Knellinger Dental Excellence, we are committed to giving you the strong, happy smile you deserve. We recognize the unique challenges faced by people with diabetes, and we hope you will let us face them with you. Please contact our office to find out more about how we can help you.