Professional Dental Care Helps Diabetics Maintain Good Oral Health
By J. Brent Gorrell on April 06, 2016
Diabetes is a disease that affects nearly ten percent of the U.S. population. There are millions of Americans living with this disease, and many more that have yet to be diagnosed. Whether a patient has type one or type two diabetes, the result will be high sugar levels in the body. These high sugar levels affect multiple parts of the body, including the heart, the kidneys, the eyes, the nerves, and the mouth. Yes, that’s right, even the mouth is impacted by diabetes, making general dentistry treatments to monitor and preserve oral health especially important for those suffering from this disease. Dr. J. Brent Gorrell provides high quality dental care for diabetics at his Mountain View, CA practice so that these patients can benefit from a healthy smile despite this health concern.
How Diabetes Affects Oral Health
Patients with diabetes either fail to produce an adequate amount of insulin (the hormone that carries blood sugar to the cells that need it) or fail to respond to insulin properly. In either case, without proper treatment, a person’s blood sugar level can rise, causing adverse side effects throughout the body. When it comes to the mouth, diabetes increases the risk of a number of oral health problems, including the following:
- Dry mouth
- Tooth decay
- Gingivitis or gum disease
- Root canal infection
The risks of uncontrolled diabetes are serious, so it is important to control diabetes and blood sugar levels with proper medical treatment. Studies also suggest that certain oral health problems may impact diabetes. Gum disease has been shown to increase blood sugar levels, which can make it more difficult to keep diabetes under control. What all of these findings point to is the fact that it is especially important for diabetics to be vigilant about controlling their blood sugar levels, and practicing good oral hygiene habits.
Dental Care for Diabetics
Because oral health and diabetes are directly linked, good oral hygiene should be a top priority for diabetic patients. While good at-home oral hygiene habits can be extremely beneficial, it is important to work alongside an experienced dentist such as Dr. Gorrell to ensure that patients are providing the mouth with adequate care.
Routine dental exams and cleanings are extremely beneficial to diabetic patients, and should be scheduled at least twice a year, if not more frequently. Professional cleanings are far more effective than at-home care, and allow us to help patients prevent an accumulation of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, all of which can lead to decay and infection.
Should a patient suffer from any oral health problems, these exams allow the condition to be diagnosed in its earliest stages so that restorative dental treatment can be provided before the problem gets out of control. While general dentistry services are beneficial to all patients, they are especially crucial to those with diabetes, as the risk of oral health problems are already increased.
Dr. J. Brent Gorrell prides himself on providing high quality dental care that helps his patients maintain the strength, health, and beauty of their smiles. He offers a comprehensive range of dental services, including general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry treatments. If you have concerns about the health of your teeth, or are simply looking for an experienced dentist to provide your routine dental care, contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about our services.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.