More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. What is even more eye opening is that around 8 million people are living with diabetes and they don’t know it.
Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue, blurry vision, slow or non-healing cuts or bruises, weight loss despite eating more and tingling, pain or numbness in the hands and/or feet. If you have noticed any of these symptoms, please see your doctor as soon as possible.
Untreated diabetes can affect your mouth in the following ways:
- Less saliva, resulting in a very dry mouth
- Because of less saliva, you’ll be at a higher risk for developing cavities
- Inflamed and bleeding gums – around teeth and implants
- Treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control which will, in turn, decrease the progression of the disease.
- Ability to taste food diminishes or changes
- Delayed wound healing – this is extremely important for extractions and for the success of implants
- Increased risk of infections inside your mouth – also very important for extractions and implants
How does a diabetic keep a healthy mouth?
- Blood sugar control – using diabetic medications as directed, healthy diet and exercise
- Avoid smoking
- Routine cleanings or deep cleanings when necessary
- Clean dentures daily
- Brush teeth and implants twice daily
- Floss teeth and implants daily
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups
Next time, we'll talk about oral health and heart disease!