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Diabetes: Does It Affect Your Smile?

Did you know that November is American Diabetes Month? For the 30 million Americans with diabetes this month is all about spreading awareness of all forms of diabetic conditions. At Anderson Dental Care we see plenty of patients suffering from diabetes – you may not realize it but diabetes increases your risk for dental health problems!

The concern for patients suffering from diabetes is two fold: they are more prone to infection and their bodies have a harder time fighting those infections! If you had to guess what the number one cause of dental health problems was what would you guess? That’s right – bacterial infection!

What’s The Risk For Diabetic Patients?

Everyone’s mouth contains bacteria – it’s just part of life! Bacteria in your mouth makes up that sticky white biofilm that forms on your teeth over the course of the day. It’s called plaque and some of that plaque bacteria is harmful to your oral health! Not all of it is dangerous but the kind that is causes the two biggest risks to oral health: gum disease and tooth decay. While both are concerns for diabetic patients gum disease is the risk you really have to watch out for!

Gum disease occurs when plaque bacteria get below your gumline. Once there your toothbrush can’t reach them and they start to spread out of control! At first you may notice symptoms of a condition called gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease can cause:

  • redness in the gums
  • bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • swollen, sensitive gums
  • gum recession
  • persistent bad breath

You may not experience any pain when suffering from gingivitis but it’s critical you see us at our Cincinnati dentist office as soon as possible if you are suffering from these symptoms! With early treatment we can easily stop and reverse the damage! Many patients suffering from gingivitis can find relief simply by being more disciplined in their home oral health care. Along with a professional cleaning we can stop gum disease before it becomes serious!

Left unchecked gingivitis can progress into full-blown periodontal disease. At this stage you may notice other serious symptoms on top of those caused by gingivitis. At this critical stage of gum disease you can experience loosening teeth, a changing bite, changes in bridges or partial denture fit, and serious gum recession and root visibility.

Periodontal disease becomes serious when it starts to attack bone that supports your teeth. This can quickly lead to tooth loss if not treated right away!

Controlling Gum Disease As A Diabetic Patient

If you are a diabetic patient make sure you let us know right away! We’ll need to see you more frequently in order to ensure your continued oral health. We’ll also treat your exams and cleanings a bit differently to be sure we’re meeting all the special needs that diabetic patients have.

It’s essential that you spend time on oral health care at home as well! Make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day and flossing in the evening. Because your toothbrush can’t reach all the plaque in your mouth flossing is important to free up the spots where your toothbrush can’t reach. Those hard-to-reach areas are one of the most common places for cavities and gum disease to develop so don’t give plaque a chance!

Make The Right Choices For Your Oral Health!

Diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your teeth. With proper care and teamwork between our Cincinnati dental team and you we can ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy for years to come!

If you’re ready to take control of your oral health don’t wait another day – call Anderson Dental Care to schedule an appointment! You can reach us at (513) 231-7755 or you can fill out our online appointment request form to secure a time. We look forward to working with you to ensure your future health!