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Diabetes and Oral Health

Can my diabetes affect my oral health?

Diabetes has become a common medical problem in adults and children. The recent estimates of people having diabetes in Canada and US have increased tremendously. The number of children diagnosed with diabetes and the young age when the diagnosis is made is very alarming as well. People diagnosed with diabetes require life-long commitments in controlling this problem, especially children who are diagnosed at a young age. Proper management of diabetes prevents future complications with eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart.

People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease and other dental problems. Diabetes may weaken your Healthy Body’s germ-fighting abilities, making your gum disease worse and slowing your healing. High blood glucose levels in your saliva help bacteria thrive, which favours the growth of tooth decay-causing bacteria in your mouth. Other oral problems diabetics are more prone to include: fungal infections, dry mouth and taste alteration. At the same time, recent studies have found a reciprocal relationship with gum disease and diabetes control. Gum disease may make your blood glucose levels harder to control.

  • Keep your dentist informed of any changes in your condition and any medication(s) you might be taking.
  • I recommend preventive oral health care, including regular exam (more frequently as needed) and professional cleaning appointments.
  • See your dentist immediately if you notice any signs and symptoms of gum disease: including bleeding, swelling, tenderness and shrinking of your gum.


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