Learn How Diabetes Affects Your Dental Health

Dr. James Hallam of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. James Hallam, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Did you know that early indications of type II diabetes can be found in a person’s mouth?

People with diabetes often have problems tasting foods and they may produce less saliva causing the mouth to feel dry, and because a person’s saliva protects their teeth, they can be at a higher risk for cavities and plaque build up. The gums can become inflamed and bleed easily resulting in gingivitis.

People with diabetes are more vulnerable to the millions of germs that live in the mouth, and the myriad dental problems that can be caused by them, including a decrease in blood supply to the gums making them more susceptible to disease. As a result, they are more likely to experience periodontal disease which can destroy the gums and the tissues holding the teeth and even the bones in place.

Diabetes concept

Protect Your Smile With Care

Fact is, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes and people who do not have their diabetes under control are especially at risk!

Diabetic patients who exhibit symptoms of periodontal disease should be seen promptly by our hygienists and dentists to eliminate any infection. Symptoms include persistent bad breath, frequent mouth sores or bleeding and/or sore gums.

Regular dental visits are very important for people living with diabetes because they can decrease the progression of gum diseases and protect the integrity of their smiles. As a diabetic, practising good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by a hygienist can help to lower your HbA1c. (This is a lab test that shows your average level of blood sugar over the previous three month period.)

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Brush your teeth after every meal and floss daily.

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Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper.

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If you're a smoker...quit now! A person with diabetes who smokes is at a much greater risk for gum disease than someone who does not have diabetes.

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Rinse the mouth with a chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse, available with a prescription from our office.

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Be aware of your blood sugar levels, triglycerides and cholesterol levels and check them carefully on a regular basis because when diabetes is poorly controlled, higher glucose levels will be found in the fluids in the mouth, which can encourage the growth of bacteria.

Regular exercise together with the right diet will also improve your quality of life and your oral health.

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If you notice bleeding gums when brushing your teeth, or if a bad taste seems to stay in your mouth, please see us promptly.

Have a periodontal exam & professional cleaning at the recommended intervals.

We encourage morning appointments for dental care because blood glucose levels tend to be under better control at that time of the day.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.