Diabetes and Oral Health
Patients with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal (gum) disease than patients without diabetes.
Diabetic patients are more susceptible to bacterial infections and have a decreased ability to fight infections once they occur. The bacteria associated with gum disease is no exception. High levels of bacteria in the mouth make it more difficult maintaining controlled diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetic patients have a harder time healing from dental surgery and extractions so it is best to catch any dental issues before they require advanced care. Dry mouth and thrush (an infection caused by a fungus that grows in the mouth) is also common in diabetic patients. A higher rate of decay is noted in diabetic patients with dry mouth.
There are solutions to all the issues diabetic patients face with their oral health—more frequent professional cleanings and maintaining good blood sugar. The American Dental Association recommends diabetic patients have professional cleanings and examinations more often to maintain better oral health and slow the progression of periodontal disease. Keeping good blood sugar levels will decrease the chance of oral side effects of diabetes and decreases healing time.