Dental Care for Diabetes
If you or someone you love is a diabetic or pre-diabetic, it is important to look after your dental health as closely as you monitor your medical health. People living with diabetes are vulnerable to a host of systemic problems in their entire body. Unfortunately, the mouth and teeth are not immune from such problems with diabetes actually being the number one systemic risk factor for periodontal diseases (Nagelberg, 2010). Many diabetics with oral problems go undiagnosed until conditions become advanced.
Diabetes is a risk factor for severe periodontal (gum) disease and diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease than non-diabetics. In some cases, periodontal disease increases the severity of diabetes and complicates control of the metabolism and blood sugar levels needed for diabetic care. Control of infections with the help of a diabetes dentist well-versed in diabetic oral health strategies is an essential component of long-term diabetes control. In fact, in a July 2010 article from the Journal of the American Dental Association, studies found that “the treatment of periodontal disease could reduce blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes” (2010; 141(7): 833-834). Working closely with your endocrinologist and primary care physician, your dentist can be a valuable addition to your health care team.