Link Between Tooth Loss and Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious systemic disease in which the body is unable to properly use or make its’ natural insulin, a hormone that helps the body convert sugar into energy. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that affects just over 2 million children and adults. Type 2 diabetes affects almost 20 million Americans and is associated with both lifestyle and genetic factors. High blood sugar levels associated with untreated or uncontrolled diabetes can lead to significant health problems, including dental disease and tooth loss.
If you have diabetes, you may be as much as three times more likely to suffer from dental problems as those without diabetes. Poor blood sugar control is the biggest risk factor for these problems, because it can increase inflammatory responses and reduce immune function. Minor infections can worsen more quickly with diabetes, which can lead to chronic inflammation. Over time, bone and gum tissue can be lost, and teeth may need to be extracted. Additionally, diabetes can cause other oral problems, including thrush, an oral yeast infection, and dry mouth that allows bacteria to flourish. If teeth are lost as a result of diabetes, you may need to have them replaced with Dental implants to help improve your oral health.
The best way to reduce these risks if you are a diabetic is through good dental habits. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can worsen existing dental problems and can complicate blood glucose control. Maintain good control over your blood glucose levels to reduce the risk of long-term consequences for your smile and your body. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our Dentists.
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