Does diabetes affect your teeth?

Diabetes is on the rise. According to recent statistics from Diabetes UK, there has been an alarming increase in 18-39 year olds being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last year alone. Not only does diabetes have an impact on overall health, but it can also damage the teeth and gums.

The rise in type 2 diabetes is being attributed to the growth in overweight and obese young adults and children. People who are obese are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are a healthy weight. What’s more scary, is that by 2030, it is predicted there will be five and a half million people in the UK with the condition.

Diabetes and teeth

People with diabetes are three times more likely to have oral health problems than those without the condition. This means if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to take extra care of your teeth, gums and mouth. If you think you might be at risk of developing diabetes, then now is the time to take action to reduce your risk and help keep your mouth healthy.

Having diabetes can make you more likely to develop gum disease and since your gums are the things helping to keep your teeth in place, it puts your overall oral health at risk. Gum disease occurs when the bacteria in plaque inflames the gums, causing them to recede, which can result in tooth loss over time.

In a vicious circle, having gum disease can also make diabetes worse, as it can increase blood sugar levels. This can then lead to further complications such as heart, nerve and kidney problems.

In addition to gum disease, diabetes can also increase your chances of developing tooth decay. Too much sugar in the bloodstream can result in too much sugar in the saliva, creating a breeding ground for the plaque bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

How to keep your teeth and gums healthy

Oral health should be a priority for everyone, but if you have diabetes it is even more important. Looking out for the early signs, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth and plaque build up and letting your dentist know can help you to prevent more serious oral health problems in the future.

In addition to checking your blood sugars regularly and keeping them within your target range, you can also follow these dental health tips:

  • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and use floss or interdental brushes to reach the spaces between your teeth.
  • Follow a healthy balanced diet which is low in sugar.
  • Quit smoking as this can weaken your immune system making it more difficult for inflamed gums to heal.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

Book your dental check up now

If you are worried about the impact diabetes might have on your teeth or you have bleeding gums or loose teeth, please contact Riverside Dental Spa as soon as you can to book in for a dental check up. Our experienced dental team can chat through any worries you may have and advise you on the best techniques and routines to help you prioritise your oral health.