Diabetes Affects Oral Cavity

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Recently, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research indicated that diabetesdiabetes has an effect on our oral cavity. While most people that have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body, most are unaware that it can also cause problems in their mouth.

People with diabetes are at special risk for periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections and tooth decay. Smoking makes these problems worse.

Good blood glucose control is key to controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood glucose control get gum disease more often and more severely than those whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups are also key components of a defense strategy against the oral complications of diabetes. It is also imperative to seek out a dentist that understands the entire systemic process of any and all underlying health conditions so that he/she can be a partner in your overall wellness plan.

Source: Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cardiodontal (310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-282-0310. 

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