The Importance of Dental Care for Diabetics

While daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist are important for everyone, people with diabetes face a particular challenge since poorly controlled blood sugars raise the risk of a number of oral health problems. Uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, the body's main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth. As diabetics’ ability to fight bacterial infections is reduced, they face a higher risk of developing gum inflammation (gingivitis and periodontitis). Other potential oral problems related to diabetes include dry mouth (which can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay) and fungal infections (thrush) that arise from antibiotic use. Diabetics who smoke face an even higher risk of developing thrush and periodontal disease.

P.S. Because diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, diabetics who do not properly control their blood sugar levels may not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures.


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