Why should I take care of my teeth if I have diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is well-known to be associated with oral complications.1,2 Oral diseases such as hyposalivation (reduced saliva), halitosis (bad breath), and periodontitis (gum infection) are commonly found in both controlled and uncontrolled diabetic patients. Gingivitis (gum inflammation), cavities, taste alterations, candidiasis (oral thrush), and burning mouth sensation also affect individuals with diabetes.
Several complex mechanisms may explain the relationship between diabetes and oral health.3 The degree of glycemic control is known to be the most significant factor influencing the occurrence and severity of oral diseases. Studies have noted that patients with diabetes are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections in the mouth. Compromised defense mechanisms and impaired oral wound healing from reduced blood flow and growth factor production may easily exacerbate infection and inflammation. Additionally, excessive thirst and excessive urination in diabetic patients is hypothesized to contribute to hyposalivation, leading to halitosis and taste disturbances. Hyposalivation also allows bacteria and food debris to accumulate more easily, increasing the risks and severities of gum diseases and cavities.
How should I take care of my teeth if I have diabetes?
As the prevalence and severity of oral complications are closely related to the degree of glycemic control, it is important for individuals with diabetes to follow dental care recommendations to prevent or delay the development of oral diseases.1,4
- Control your blood glucose levels
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss once a day
- See your dentist twice a year
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