Why Diabetics Need Good Oral Health: Desert Ridge Smiles

By Dr. Elizabeth Fleming
January 15, 2014
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Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which insulin is not regulating glucose properly.  It is one of the most common chronic illnesses, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), and as of January 2011, 26 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million are considered pre-diabetic.

Glucose is what all cells use for energy production, including cells in the brain.  When insulin action is a problem, it triggers inflammation.  In the dental world, we see this as periodontal disease.  By controlling periodontal disease, a diabetic’s blood sugar control is also enhanced.

Diabetics are more prone to infections due to a weaker immune system.  Some ways to help repair the immune system include:

  • quitting smoking
  • eating a proper, well-balanced diet
  • brushing 2x/day, flossing 1x/day
  • exercising
  • weight loss

We monitor a patient’s risk for developing periodontal disease by reviewing peridontal probe scores, bleeding or inflammation points and medications at every hygiene maintenance visit.  Our goal is to keep inflammatory processes in the mouth to a minimum, by continually improving our patient’s oral health.

Complications of diabetes include: fatigue, dehydration, infection, eye disease, hearing loss, kidney disease, nerve damage in the hands and feet, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and gum and periodontal disease.

Diabetes can be managed by proper education-changing diet and nutrition, monitoring blood sugar regularly, exercising to lose weight, becoming healthier by quitting smoking, and monitoring your periodontal health at your dentist.  Remember: Good Oral Health Leads to Good Overall Health!

Elizabeth Fleming, DDS and Staff at Desert Ridge Smiles

20950 N Tatum Blvd Ste 280  Phx, AZ  85050 480-860-4300