November is American Diabetes Month and Dr. Jonathan Gantz of Enhanced Dental Care in Walla Walla wants to make sure our patients know the importance between diabetes and your oral health. Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects our body’s ability to process sugar. The resulting high blood sugar can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of our bodies. In addition, diabetes can lower our resistance to infection and slow the healing process in your mouth.
According to the American Diabetes Association:
– Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. – Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. – The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
How Are Diabetes & Dental Health Related?
According to the ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org, if you have diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing a number of oral health problems.
The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:
- Gum disease. Recent research suggests that the connection between gum disease and diabetes goes both ways. On the one hand, because of lowered resistance and a longer healing process, gum disease appears to be more frequent and more severe among those with diabetes. Conversely, it appears that treating gum disease in people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar control.
- Fungal infections. Since diabetes compromises your immune system, you may be prone to developing fungal infections. Symptoms include painful sores and difficulty swallowing. If you develop a fungal infection, see your dentist.
- Infection and delayed healing. If you are having extensive oral surgery, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. To help the healing process, keep your blood glucose levels under control before, during and after surgery.
If you've been diagnosed with diabetes and have not seen a dentist recently, Dr. Gantz and his team would love to see you and get you on a path to optimal oral health. Give our office a call today at 509-525-9111.