The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

The Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted by Drs. Davila & Velazquez, P.A. Apr 28,2023

Diabetes is a condition that results in elevated blood sugar levels in the body due to problems with the pancreas, insulin production, or insulin effectiveness. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin on its own. This form of diabetes must be treated with daily injections of synthetic insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is the result of the body producing too little insulin or using insulin ineffectively. Lifestyle changes are usually sufficient in controlling type 2 diabetes, but oral infections can make the disease more difficult to manage.

Both forms of diabetes increase the risk of periodontal disease. Blood sugar levels increase in the mouth when bacteria are present and cause inflammation of the gums that can result in gum recession. Gum disease is a risk factor for serious health issues such as heart disease and stroke, so maintaining good oral health is important for anyone who suffers from diabetes.

Immediate effects of untreated diabetes include dry mouth, which causes tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. High levels of glucose in the mouth can also lead to yeast infections called thrush. Over time, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can increase the risk of problems with vision, kidney and heart disease, nerve damage, and more.

What Causes Diabetes?

Scientists have yet to find the root cause of Type 1 diabetes, but they strongly suspect it’s a gene mutation that leads to the body’s inability to produce insulin. Genetics may play a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes as well – people with a family history of the disease are more likely to get it.

That being said, scientists also believe that certain lifestyle choices can trigger the onset of diabetes. For instance, people who are overweight or obese significantly increase their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. And consuming a diet high in fat and sugar can certainly contribute to weight gain. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors.

People who have diabetes should follow their doctor’s recommendations for managing their condition. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are important for everyone’s health, but even more so for people with diabetes.

It’s also important to visit the dentist regularly if you have diabetes to control your blood sugar levels and prevent gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to avoid plaque buildup on your teeth as well as prescription medications to lower your risk of developing cavities. Patients who have poorly controlled blood sugar may also be at a higher risk for developing infections like gum disease – so it is important to practice good oral hygiene at home and visit the dentist often.

If you wish to learn more, visit Drs. Davila & Velazquez, P.A. at 120 Oakmont Dr, Greenville, NC 27858, or call (252) 756-7789 to consult our dentist.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.
More Blog Posts
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammatory condition that affects the structures that support the teeth. It's caused by plaque buildup along the gum line, and if not treated, it can cause the teeth to become loose and fall out. Here are some common risk factors causing this disease: POOR ORAL HYGIENE Failing to brush and floss daily can lead to plaque buildup, which can eventually cause gum disease.  When you visit the dentist, they will perform a thorough exam and take X-rays to determine the extent of the problem. Treatment will depend on the type of disease and the individual patient's unique needs. TOBACCO USE Tobacco can both cause and exacerbate gum disease. If you smoke or are chewing tobacco, you should quit as soon as possible to protect your teeth and gums. Quitting smoking or tobacco use helps reduce your risk of tooth loss due to periodontal disease by around half! If you have already lost teeth because of periodontal disease, quitting tobacco can also help prevent additional bone loss and slow the progression of the disease. Quitting now can help save your teeth and improve your quality of life. GENETICS Although gum disease doesn't typically discriminate, genetics may put people at risk. Your genetic makeup may also be a factor. Be sure to let your dentist know if any of these risk factors apply to you. That way, they can help you take the proper steps to avoid complications with your oral health. HORMONAL CHANGES Even small changes in hormones can place women at greater risk of periodontal disease. This is because the menstrual cycle changes the levels of certain hormones in the body, and these hormonal fluctuations can increase the risk of periodontal infections. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can also increase the risk of periodontal diseases. This occurs because increased hormone levels can cause the gums to become more sensitive to plaque and food debris, increasing the chance of developing gum disease. On the other extreme, women who are going through menopause experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which can contribute to gum recession and increased sensitivity of the gums to irritants. MEDICATIONS Certain medications can affect your periodontal health, making you more susceptible to periodontal disease and other oral health issues. Some medicines can even cause dry mouth as a side effect. A dry mouth makes it harder to wash away food and plaque from the teeth, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease if you don't take proper precautions. Research has shown that certain antihistamines, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diuretics, and painkillers can increase the risk of gum disease. These drugs all affect the flow of saliva in the mouth or help to suppress the immune system's ability to fight infection. DIABETES People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis. This is because diabetes can interfere with the body's ability to fight infection, allowing bacteria to grow in the mouth more easily. Periodontal disease can also make it more difficult to control a person's blood sugar levels, which throws off the body's ability to function normally. If you wish to learn more, visit Drs. Davila & Velazquez, P.A. at 120 Oakmont Dr, Greenville, NC 27858, or call (252) 756-7789 to consult our dentist.

Top Tips To Ease Dental Fear
Top Tips To Ease Dental Fear

Many people fear going to the dentist, but putting off important dental care can lead to serious health problems. At Drs. Davila & Velazquez, P.A., we strive to make every patient feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Listed below are some helpful tips to ease dental fear. Discuss your fears with the dentist The first step towards overcoming your dental fear is to talk about it to your dentist. Remember that dentists are trained professionals who have been dealing with all kinds of patients for several years now, so you need not worry much! Your dentist will take the time to listen to your worries and explain the treatment and procedure to you in detail. This will go a long way in calming down your nerves and making you feel confident about the treatment or procedure that is about to be performed on you. Plus, if you have any other questions in your mind, you can clear them up during the appointment itself, which will help you a great deal in managing and controlling your dental fears. Agree on a signal Before your procedure begins, agree on a signal that will let your dentist know you are uncomfortable or in pain so they can stop immediately. This will prevent you from feeling any discomfort throughout the procedure.  Bring distractions to occupy your mind during procedures Distractions can help take your mind off of your procedure. Some options are bringing a book, music, or headphones to listen to your favorite playlist. Bring a companion with you for support You can also bring a family member or friend to accompany you as having someone you trust alongside can help ease dental fear to a great extend.  Consider sedation dentistry If the thought of going to the dentist makes you anxious or fearful, talk to your dentist about ways to ease your anxiety. Sedation can allow you to relax and sleep through the procedure. Your dentist can offer oral medication to take prior to your appointment and nitrous oxide to help you relax in the chair. A local anesthetic can also help numb your mouth so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment. Talk to your dentist about your options so you can look forward to your next visit! If you wish to learn more, visit Drs. Davila & Velazquez, P.A. at 120 Oakmont Dr, Greenville, NC 27858, or call (252) 756-7789 to consult our dentist.


Contact Us

120 Oakmont Dr,
Greenville, NC 27858


Phone: (252) 756-7789

Working Hours

MON8:00 am-6:00 pm

TUE - THU8:00 am-5:00 pm

FRI8:00 am-1:00 pm

SAT - SUNClosed