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Oral Health & Diabetes: Is There A Link?

Diabetes affects millions of Americans each year. Around 29.1 million (9% of the population) is affected by diabetes, making this disease one of the most common in America.

And diabetes has a huge effect on the oral health of the population. In fact, quite a few diabetes cases are often diagnosed by dentists – particularly dentists like Dr. Thomas Wuesthoff & Dr. Scott Lundy at Westlake Dental Associates who pay close attention to the symptoms of gum disease that often occur in diabetic individuals.

Diabetes and oral health are closely connected, so people with diabetes must be particularly careful when taking care of their mouths – and understand the effects that their disease can have on their oral health.

The Effects Of Diabetes On Oral Health

The imbalance caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin can lead to increased risks of many of oral health conditions, including:

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Higher risk of fungal growth
  • Taste impairment
  • Salivary gland dysfunction
  • Inflammatory skin diseases

And much more. While these risks can be controlled, it’s crucial that individuals with diabetes take the appropriate steps to preserve their oral health.

How Diabetic Individuals Can Reduce Their Risk Of Common Oral Health Conditions

While the steps that diabetic individuals can take to reduce risk are relatively simple, they’re often overlooked. By simply following these 3 steps (highly recommended by Dr. Wuesthoff & Dr. Lundy), many of the common oral health problems that occur in diabetic individuals can be avoided.

  1. Focus On Diet – Properly controlled diet leads to a lower level of blood sugar. High glucose levels in saliva are one of the primary causes of tooth decay and periodontal disease, so a properly controlled diet is critical to maintaining oral health.
  2. Brush, Floss, And Rinse – Diabetic patients should brush twice a day, floss once a day, and consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash which may help control their risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease, as per their doctor’s recommendation.
  3. Get Screened Regularly – The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends that healthy individuals see a dentist for a teeth cleaning and a check-up twice a year. However, diabetic individuals may need to see a dentist more often, depending on their overall level of health, and their level of oral health.

It’s important to note that each individual is different. Depending on overall health levels, medical history, and more, the dental plans of diabetic individuals can vary dramatically. Consult with Dr. Wuesthoff & Dr. Lundy to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken.

Take Care Of Your Mouth! Visit Westlake Dental Associates!

Westlake Dental Associates is a family dental practice in Westlake Village. If the question, “how do I find the best dentist near me?” has been lingering in your mind for a while, Look no further!

At Westlake Dental Associates, Dr. Wuesthoff and Dr. Lundy specialize in preventative dentistry, periodontics, restorative dentistry, root canal surgeries, tooth extraction, dental crown installation, and more, including emergency dentist services.

We do things differently here. We know that a visit to the dentist isn’t exactly your favorite activity, so we focus on speed, patient satisfaction, and just a bit of fun! Our patients are our #1 focus!

So whether you’re diabetic and in need of a comprehensive oral care plan, or just looking for a new family dentist, schedule an appointment today!

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