DIABETES AND ORAL HEALTH: AN INTRICATE RELATIONSHIP - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


Diabetes is estimated to affect 1.2 million Australians (4.9% of the population) and puts these individuals at an increased risk of developing certain oral health conditions (ABS 2017-18). But the good news is, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can lower these risks with good oral healthcare and managing your blood glucose levels.

If you have diabetes, you are often at a higher risk of dental conditions such as:

  • periodontal (gum) disease
  • tooth decay
  • oral infections
  • dry mouth complications

Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by different bacteria than those responsible for tooth decay, it causes the gums to swell, become red and often bleed; surprisingly however this is often painless. If you notice any of these symptoms you should get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if left untreated it will start to destroy the bone around your teeth and could even lead to tooth loss. The good news is that by managing your blood glucose levels you can reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

Tooth decay and an increase in oral infections are two other areas of oral health that can be negatively impacted by diabetes. Higher levels of glucose in the blood mean less saliva is produced causing dry mouth. This creates the ideal environment for tooth decay and can increase the risk of oral infections such as oral thrush. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing between your teeth daily will remove most of the dental plaque in your mouth. However, every person is different, so it is important to discuss the best oral healthcare routine for your personal situation with your dentist who can advise on special techniques and prescribe additional products if required.

If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve last seen your dentist and you have diabetes, you’re in a higher-risk group for an increased risk of oral health issues. It is important to continue with regular oral examinations to allow your dentist to assist you to prevent problems occurring or be able to treat them at an earlier stage, which results in better outcomes. Remember to mention your medical history to your dentist so they can recommend a maintenance and treatment plan that is individual to your needs.

Looking for a new dental team to help you with your oral healthcare? Give our team a call on 3348 6661 and we can start that journey together.

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