Diabetes And Your Teeth: What You Need To Know

Posted on: 16 December 2014

Dental problems are common in people with diabetes. As a diabetic, you are at an increased risk of developing problems such as cavities and gum disease. Without proper care, you could even lose your teeth. Here is what you need to know about your dental health and diabetes. 

How Does Diabetes Create Dental Problems?

When your diabetes is uncontrolled, the glucose levels rise. As a result, your teeth and gums are exposed to more bacteria. The bacteria is harmful and can cause problems such as gum disease. You are also at a higher risk for having mouth infections that damage the gums and bone in your mouth. 

Diabetes medications can also cause problems. Medications such as metformin have side effects that include dental problems. Fortunately, there are things that you, your dentist, and your family doctor can do to reduce the chances you have diabetes-related dental problems.

What Can You Do? 

Since a majority of the dental problems you can experience result from uncontrolled diabetes, the best thing you can do to save your teeth and gums is to gain control of your blood glucose levels. Exercise and eat a diabetic-friendly diet to help control your glucose levels. 

Getting control of your glucose levels has other benefits. One of the biggest is there is a good chance that your doctor can decrease the medications that are needed to control your glucose levels. Your overall health will also improve. 

In addition to watching your blood glucose levels, talk to your doctor about your current medications. If you are taking one of the medications that are considered particularly harmful to teeth and gums, ask your doctor about switching to a new medication.

If you smoke, quit now. Smoking can make dental problems and your other diabetic symptoms worse. You also need to keep up with your visits to the dentist. Due to your special medical condition, the dentist might recommend stepping up the number of times you see him or her each year. 

Call your dentist if you notice any signs of dental problems such as white patches, sores, bleeding gums, or a consistent bad taste in your mouth. All of these are signs that your dental health is in danger. 

Having diabetes does not mean that you have to suffer from related dental problems. By monitoring your blood glucose and taking other precautions, you can save your teeth and keep your gums in good condition.


About Marcel and the Dentist

Hi, my name is Marcel. Welcome to my site! I started it to help others learn about children's dentistry. Most of us don't remember dentist trips from our early childhood. Maybe we didn't even really care about our teeth until we started losing baby teeth. In my case, I became interested in children's dentistry as a young father. When my kids were young, I was a student, and our insurance did not cover visits to the dentist. Although my wife and I tried to teach our kids good hygiene on our own, it was difficult. When we we finally able to take them to the dentist, my little girls were scared and didn't know what was going on. Luckily, they appreciate the dentist now that they are older, but their first experiences helped teach me more about the importance of children's dentistry. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences!