How is poor dental health related to diabetes?
Diabetics are more susceptible to gum disease (periodontitis) because it is harder for their bodies to control their blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can weaken the body's ability to fight infections, including those in the gums.
As a result, diabetics may experience more severe and frequent gum infections, which, if left untreated, can lead to inflammation, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. Infections in the mouth can also spread to other parts of the body, worsening overall health and potentially leading to more severe diabetes-related complications.
Gum disease can also increase blood sugar levels, making it more challenging for diabetics to control their blood glucose.
A decrease in saliva production is a common complication of diabetes and it also increases the risk of developing dental decay.
Even if you don’t already have diabetes, studies now suggest a link between poor oral health and increased insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Because the risk of developing severe gum disease is greater in people with diabetes, particularly when blood sugar levels are not controlled, it’s important to also limit sugary snacks and beverages that can promote tooth decay and affect blood sugar levels. It is also recommended that diabetics have more frequent dental check-ups and cleanings.