How Good Oral Health Can Help Prevent and Manage Diabetes

According to medical professionals, there is an often overlooked link between oral health care and diabetes. Diabetes—a disease wherein the body’s blood glucose levels are too high—can increase the risk of contracting gum disease. This happens because a diabetes diagnosis generally means one is taking in a high level of sugar and the excess glucose they are consuming makes it more likely for teeth and bone loss to occur. Gum disease, an infection that causes inflammation in the mouth, can make it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels because it becomes difficult to chew food that is beneficial in managing diabetes, such as fruits and vegetables. The relationship between oral healthcare and diabetes seems to be cyclical in nature.

Gum disease usually results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. These issues can lead to an inability to take in nutritious foods that are crunchy or dry—a major component in managing diabetes. Poor oral health also has a link to other diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Because inflamed gums can make it hard to eat healthy food, preventing infection is the key to good oral hygiene and better management of diabetes. This management happens by brushing teeth twice daily, using fluoride toothpaste, consumption of foods that are not sweet or sticky, and regularly attending dental checkups and cleanings. Nurse practitioner and diabetes educator, Nicole Woodruff, says patients who have trouble with managing diabetes find more success after infections in the mouth are treated.

Good oral healthcare can have positive effects on a myriad of other health concerns. If you are experiencing infections or inflammation in your gums, the team at Dr. Sid K. Steadman D.D.S. can help you manage your pain and restore healthy oral care. Don’t hesitate to contact our Leander offices at (512) 259-3365 to schedule an appointment today.