The Surprising Link Between Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes is a disease that can have a big impact on your oral health. If you or someone you know is at risk for diabetes, be aware of the potential problems you could face in addition to your blood sugar.
If white blood cells are down for the count, the body will also have a weakened defense system in the mouth. A natural build-up of plaque would normally be counteracted by a healthy immune system, but less bacteria-fighting cells puts you at increased risk for an infection. If this infection starts in the mouth, the gums can easily become inflamed and lead to gingivitis.
Disease of the gums isn’t the only problem you could face. Diabetes causes decreased saliva flow, which means you could experience the ever-uncomfortable dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to its own set of problems – tooth decay, soreness, and ulcers to name a few. Decreased blood flow to the mouth also slows the healing process after surgery or other dental procedures.
It is estimated that one-third of diabetes cases remain undiagnosed, so take extra care of your mouth if you feel you may be at risk. A healthy mouth and a healthy body are intimately connected. Consider your holistic health as you continue to foster good habits in your everyday life.