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Importance of Oral Care for Diabetic Patients

Diabetes has now been linked to a higher risk of gum disease. This means that oral health should be addressed by the 20 million people in America with diabetes, who must already take extra care to reduce their risks of other diabetic complications, such as kidney disease, stroke and heart disease. Here is more about these recent findings and recommendations for patients with diabetes.

Connections Explained

Researchers found that the link between diabetes and gum disease works both ways. Not only does diabetes raise the risk of gum disease, but late-stage gum disease may also affect blood sugar levels and worsen diabetes as a result. Due to increased risk of infection, diabetic patients are more likely to develop gingivitis and periodontitis as their bodies are unable to eliminate the bacteria that attack the gums.

Specific Risk Factors

Diabetic patients whose blood sugar levels are not well-controlled have the highest risk of gum disease and are also prone to losing more teeth compared to people without diabetes. Severe gum disease, similarly to other infections, may increase blood sugar levels and worsen prognosis for patients with diabetes. Diabetic patients also have higher risks of other oral health problems, such as dry mouth, which can contribute to decay, infections, discomfort and ulceration, and thrush, a fungal infection that attacks the mouth.

Diabetic patients can reduce their risks of gum disease, dry mouth and thrush by stabilizing their blood sugar levels. In addition, patients with diabetes should schedule dental check-ups at least every six months. With help from Dr. Kashfian, Torrance dentist, diabetic patients have better chances of keeping their teeth and maintaining their overall health.

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