Managing Your Oral Health: All about Diabetes and Tooth Loss


Many people have to live with diabetes in its various forms and one of the aspects associated with the condition is the effect it can have on your teeth and gums.

Visit a Manhattan orthodontist for example and you are most likely to be sitting in the same waiting room as someone with diabetes, as about 8% of America’s population has the condition, and if you are over fifty the risk of tooth loss is even greater.

Oral Health

The link between diabetes and tooth decay or loss:

According to a study published by the Journal of the American Dental Association, diabetics were more likely to be missing an average of ten teeth by the time they were fifty or over, compared to non-diabetics who suffered a loss of under seven teeth.

The study highlights that even type 1 and type 2 diabetics are equally at risk from tooth loss and it also found that diabetics were almost twice as likely to suffer from a complete absence of teeth, which is known as edentulism.

Almost 30% of diabetics over fifty were found to be completely toothless in contrast to about 14% of those without diabetes, so it is crystal clear that your teeth are definitely at greater risk if you have diabetes.

Increased frequency of visits:

In terms of taking preventive measures to avoid tooth loss and oral health problems in general, it may be necessary for diabetics to visit their dentist more frequently in order to stay on top of any issues.

Some diabetics may benefit from visiting their dentist up to four times each year so that they can benefit from professional gum and tooth cleaning. This will help to prevent a buildup of bacteria on your teeth which will harden into tartar if it is not cleaned away.

You can be vigilant yourself with regular flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day but a professional clean is often needed to clear the tartar away effectively.

Worsening diabetes:

It is important to also understand that the link between diabetes and gum disease works both ways.

What this means is that not only are you more susceptible to serious gum disease if you are a diabetic but if the gum disease is then allowed to progress and worsen, it has the potential to have a detrimental effect on your blood glucose control.

Having diabetes also put you in a higher risk category when it comes to getting some serious oral health problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

The Surgeon General has issued a report on oral health in which it states that good oral health is integral to your general health, so there is plenty of incentive to try and look after your teeth in order to prevent losing them and then suffering from gum disease as well.

Diabetes appears to be a growing problem and it definitely has an impact on your oral health, so there is plenty of incentive to keep in regular contact with your dentist.

Eve Morris is a surgical dental assistant who blogs about health and teeth for a range of health related blogs. Her articles mainly appear on dental health and lifestyle blogs.

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