Nearly 30 million people nationwide have diabetes, a disease affecting the body’s ability to process sugar. Some 8 million people don’t even know they are living with diabetes, which can lead to illnesses affecting your heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and even your teeth.
At the office of Portia J. Bell our friendly, highly trained staff guides our patients in recognizing how diabetes affects their oral health and establishes a treatment plan to preserve their smile.
Diabetes, which is diagnosed through a blood test by a doctor, is characterized by symptoms including weight loss, fatigue, excessive thirst, a frequent need to urinate, and can even trigger fainting when blood-sugar levels plunge.
If left untreated, diabetes can cause a loss of taste and a drop in the production of saliva, which can lead to an increased number of cavities. You may be prone to gingivitis — inflamed and bleeding gums. Wounds can take longer to heal and you may be susceptible to oral infections. Children’s teeth may develop at an earlier age than normal. Overall, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes.
The most common dental ailment affecting people with diabetes is periodontal disease, which affects nearly 22 percent of those diagnosed. This chronic, inflammatory affliction can damage your gums, the tissue supporting your teeth and even your bones. When considered with advancing age, poor blood sugar control raises the chances of contracting gum disease and puts you increasingly at risk of developing infections.
Having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist and developing a strong oral hygiene routine are crucial parts of controlling your diabetes, so contact the office of Portia J. Bell today to make an appointment. Our attentive team will make you feel comfortable while providing the latest treatments for protecting your healthy smile and putting the brakes on your diabetes.
By Portia J. Bell
April 1, 2021