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What Diabetes Can Do to Your Mouth

Posted on 8/10/2018 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
What Diabetes Can Do to Your MouthHaving diabetes is no fun. Between the strict dietary issues, increased medical costs, and the damage the disease can do to your body, it's a disease that nobody should have to deal with.

Many of our patients are aware of this terrible disease, but in our experience, not that many of them consider what diabetes can do to their mouths. Here are some things to think about, and hopefully provide motivation for you to take steps to minimize your chances of developing diabetes.

Decreased Circulation Means Higher Risk of Gum Disease

One of the things that diabetes does is decrease the circulation in the body. This is why diabetics must be very careful to ensure that the extremities are getting an adequate blood flow. This is also why, in severe cases of diabetes, it is possible to end up losing a foot (or other extremity) as a result of poor circulation.
In the mouth, the gum tissue relies on an adequate flow of blood.

This blood brings with it oxygen and the nutrients that your gums need to be healthy. If the flow is reduced, a frequent result is an increased risk of developing gum disease. This, in turn, can have consequences of its own up to and including the loss of teeth and even jaw bone material.

Another thing that some of our diabetic patients deal with is injuries that heal more slowly. If you cut your gum or accidentally bite your lip, the decreased blood flow can mean it takes longer to heal. As such, we tell our diabetic patients to be very careful in eating and cleaning so as to minimize the risk of injury.

If you have questions about diabetes, or any oral health issue, please feel free to give us a call. We look forward to helping you!

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