Diabetes and oral health conditions often go hand in hand, and without proper management of either, there is a chance of the disease worsening. In addition to a proper oral health routine, a healthy diet can go a long way in managing blood sugar levels while also decreasing the risk for gum disease. Below the team at Atlanta Smiles & Wellness, a family dental practice in Atlanta, discusses a few of the ways diabetes affects your mouth.
Increases Chances of Infection
Diabetes, particularly uncontrolled diabetes, can increase inflammation as well as compromise immune function. This may ultimately increase the chances of infection and delay wound healing.
When the body’s resistance to infection is reduced, the risk for gingivitis is high. Additionally, the body has a harder time trying to control inflammation caused by bacteria on the teeth and gums. Infections can cause a rise in blood sugar, further decreasing overall health and quality of life.
In the presence of diabetes, unchecked plaque buildup further increases the chance of gingivitis, and the inflammation associated with the disease will contribute to destruction of tissues supporting bone, the gums, teeth, and fibers.
Diabetes Dietary Contributors Raise Gum Disease Risk
There is a dietary component to diabetes and gingivitis risk, and a less-than-ideal diet can contribute to both disorders. Highly refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and sugar, can contribute to both high blood sugar levels and plaque buildup.
This, in turn, can contribute to greater levels of bacteria, inflammation, immune compromise, and subsequent infection. A healthy diet that is low-acidic and high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates may help reduce risk.
It’s important to rinse the mouth out with water after eating, and to brush the teeth 30 minutes following the meal to reduce the accumulation of inflammation-causing bacteria. Diabetes affects your mouth, but it doesn’t have to!
Comprehensive and Preventive Care at Atlanta Smiles & Wellness
Atlanta Smiles & Wellness is committed to helping you achieve a long-lasting, healthy smile while also achieving your overall health goals. Our focus is on improving your oral health, but we realize this action will also play a role in improving the health of your body, mind, and spirit. We provide comprehensive, holistic dental care, including the prevention and treatment of various dental health issues.
Here are some of our current service offerings:
- Deep cleanings
- Fluoride treatment
- Dental sealants
- Dental exams and dental X-rays
- Mouth guards
- Oral cancer screening
- Nutritional counseling
To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services, call (404) 262-7733 today.