Diabetes and Oral Health: Should You See the Dentist More Often?

You’ve heard that your diabetes and oral health are connected, but is it really necessary to up your visits to the dentist to more than once every six months?

Oral health and diabetes

Your dental hygiene is a priority, since it’s just as important as whole-body health, so it’s time to explore the connection between diabetes and oral health.

Dental Problems Can Point to Diabetes

In 2012, 9.3 percent of the American population had diabetes. Of the 29.1 million people affected, 8.1 million had not been diagnosed. If you already know you have the condition, you can take the next step to proactively improve your overall health. But if you aren’t sure about your diagnosis, sometimes your dentist can be the first medical professional to spot the signs.

Dry mouth, inflamed gums and gums that bleed easily are all early symptoms of diabetes. Any type of mouth infection is also a sign. While you should always visit your doctor first if you suspect you have diabetes, keeping up with your dental visits is also important and could be a helpful step in obtaining an official diagnosis.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Having diabetes puts you at risk for a range of other conditions, gum disease included. Gum disease affects almost 22 percent of people with diabetes. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels increase the chances of developing gum disease, then gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise in return. There is a distinct connection between diabetes and oral health that shouldn’t be ignored.

Inform Your Dentist

Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your dentist should be one of the first to know. They will help you stay committed to your twice-yearly visits, and they also will administer deep cleanings when necessary. When your dentist is fully informed about your health, they can tailor treatments to fit your needs.

Stay on Top of Your Oral Hygiene

If you have good control of your blood sugar levels and stay committed to an in-depth, daily oral hygiene routine, you should not have to visit the dentist more than twice a year. However, your oral hygiene routine must include brushing and flossing twice per day. You should also inspect your mouth once a month, looking for any inflammation on the insides of your cheeks or gums. If you notice any signs of gum disease, such as easy bleeding and sores, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist and make an appointment right away.

Oak Hills Dentistry is here for you, especially to help you manage diabetes and oral health. Call today and make an appointment.