Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the most frequently diagnosed systemic diseases for both children and adults. There are a wide range of factors affecting the surge in diabetes, including increased added sugar in the modern American diet, the prevalence of obesity and a more sedentary lifestyle.
Although you may not think of your dental health when considering the effects of diabetes, Washington, DC Dentist Dr. Andrew C. Cobb sees the affects that diabetes can have on the teeth and gums and works with diabetic patients to improve both oral and overall health through better oral hygiene.
How does diabetes affect dental health?
When someone is diabetic, the body is either unable to produce insulin or is struggling to use insulin properly in order to remain healthy. In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, patients need to monitor blood sugar daily and alter their lifestyle habits to avoid serious health complications.
What does this mean for your dental health?
Fluctuations in blood sugar affect the health of the teeth and gums, but this can also be a two way street!
Patients with diabetes who do not have their blood sugar in control are more likely to develop periodontal disease. But advanced gum disease can also adversely affect the progression of diabetes. Either way- maintaining good oral health is important for diabetic patients to both control disease and avoid complex dental concerns. Diabetic patients experience tooth loss at a higher rate than the rest of the adult population.
Diabetes affects the integrity of the immune system and put patients at a higher risk for bacterial infections such as advanced gum disease. Routine dental care provides Dr. Cobb the opportunity to closely monitor the gum health of diabetic patients and offer individualized oral hygiene advice to help maintain oral health between visits.
In addition to regular dental care, keeping blood sugar stable through diet, exercise and proper medication will provide the best possible quality of life and reduce the risk of stroke, vision problems and other health issues commonly associated with diabetes.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have oral health concerns or have been away from the dentist for some time, contact our Washington, DC dentist office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Cobb. We accept new patients and can help you to restore a healthy smile.