I Have Diabetes. Why Is My Dentist Concerned?

Did you know that approximately 1.7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes each year? Even worse, an additional 8.1 million people are unaware that they have diabetes. Yikes! While some of the dangers of diabetes include an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart disease, it can also have negative consequences on your oral health. In fact, patients with diabetes are vulnerable to dental concerns, like gum disease in Reston. We provide periodontal disease treatment for patients that have gum disease. Read on for concerns your dentist has if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Concern #1: Diabetes Affects Your Oral Health

Although diabetes is common, the havoc it can wreak on your oral health should not be dismissed. Therefore, your dentist will dedicate time during the dental exam to check for:

  • Dry mouth, which can be a result of certain medications.
  • Cavities, since decreased saliva production, leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Wounds that are having difficulty healing.
  • Gums that are bleeding or look inflamed.

Concern #2: Diabetes Puts Patients At Risk of Gum Disease

According to the CDC, roughly 65 million people (approximately 50%) of U.S. adults have gum disease. Unfortunately, this infection can lead to irreparable destruction to your gums, teeth, and jawbone if it is not treated. While poor oral hygiene and lack of proper dental care can put the population at risk of experiencing gum disease, people with diabetes are more prone to it because of poor blood sugar control. Therefore, your dentist will work closely with you to implement a comprehensive treatment plan that includes both preventive and restorative tactics.

Concern #3: A Pristine Oral Hygiene Routine Is a Must

Are you ready for some shocking statistics? About 30% of Americans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, 88% don’t floss daily, and 48% don’t visit the dentist at least once a year. Therefore, it is safe to say that our oral care needs an upgrade. While these negative dental habits can be dangerous for someone whose health is otherwise in pristine condition, it can seriously affect someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes. Therefore, your dentist will likely recommend extra measures (like additional checkups) to ensure you stay on track in keeping your oral health in pristine condition.

Hearing the word “diabetes” can be anxiety-inducing and scary. However, your medical team, including your dentist, is ready to provide you the treatment you need. That way, you can keep your oral and overall health in check.