How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mouth

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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Mouth

Too much sugar in your bloodstream from diabetes can cause pain, infection, and many other oral problems involving all areas of your mouth including your teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth, and inside of your cheeks.

Glucose (sugar) is present in your saliva. If diabetes is not under control, the high sugar levels in our saliva help harmful bacteria grow. This can lead to gingivitis, tooth decay and other dental problems. Since uncontrolled diabetes can weaken your immune system, you may develop infection more easily. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth leaving pockets that can become infected. This can lead to resorption of the bone that surrounds your teeth. The gums, bones, and tissue that support the teeth are eventually destroyed if left untreated. Teeth may become loose and might need to be removed.

As a diabetic, it is important to be aware of the early warning signs of infection. Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums are the first clues of gingivitis. Some of the signs may not be noticeable initially. Your best defense is to stay on top of your dental exams so your dentist can check for signs of any developing problems.

Tips Prior to Dental Appointment

If you take insulin or other diabetic medication, take them as prescribed prior to your dental visit. It is also helpful to bring your diabetic medications with you to each dental appointment.

You may need to postpone any nonemergency dental work if your blood sugar is not under control. Give us a call and we will reschedule your visit until it is under control. The Palm Harbor Premier Dental team can adapt dental treatment to your meet needs. Give us a call at (727) 349-3615 if you have questions or concerns and to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy and bright!