Having a dazzling smile is more than cosmetics. Your oral hygiene is directly related to your overall health and wellbeing. Did you know that diabetes is directly linked to your dental health? Researchers have proven that taking good care of your mouth can help you prevent severe issues like gum disease, tooth loss, and even complications with diabetes.
Diabetes and Dental Health
People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease. Gum disease is one step beyond gingivitis, where plaque (harmful bacteria) has built up and stuck around for so long that your gums become inflamed and infected. Gum disease creates spaces between your teeth and gum line. Bacteria gets inside those pockets and stays there, causing irritation and discomfort.
Diabetes is a serious disease in which the body has difficulty fighting off infections. So, if you have diabetes and your gums are infected, you’ll have more trouble fighting off the illness than someone without the disease. When gum disease goes untreated, it leads to permanent damage like decreased bone support, receding gums, dangerous fungal infections, and even tooth loss.
Diabetes and Dry Mouth
Folks who deal with diabetes are more likely to have a chronically dry mouth as well. Here’s why that’s a significant problem.
Saliva is an essential part of a healthy mouth. It’s also crucial to your overall wellbeing. Saliva’s job is to neutralize acids that hang around on plaque buildup. It also helps keep the gaps between your teeth clear of food debris. When bacteria from food particles aren’t removed, you’ll begin noticing signs of gum disease.
A chronically dry mouth leads to other dangerous conditions. A lack of saliva may cause enamel erosion, which is the protective barrier surrounding each tooth. Once enamel is gone, there is no replacement, and you’ll likely experience pain. Plus, dry mouth can cause fungal infections (thrush), and persistent bad breath.
Signs of a Dry Mouth
When you aren’t producing an adequate amount of saliva, you’ll notice things like:
- A dry or rough tongue
- Sores in your mouth
- Trouble talking, chewing, or swallowing
- Cracked or chapped lips
Luckily, there are things you can do to combat dry mouth and keep your health in top-notch shape.
Ways to Combat Dry Mouth
Making sure your salivary glands continue to do their part, here are some ways to protect your oral health.
- Stay hydrated
- Stop tobacco use
- Limit hot and cold beverages
- Drink lots of water during meals
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
One of the most effective ways to ensure excellent oral health is by visiting us for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Even if you have diabetes, you can avoid dry mouth and gum disease while also effectively treating underlying conditions.
Have you been experiencing chronic dry mouth? Call Danville Family Dentistry today at 317-745-4400 for a consultation.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.