Diabetes and dental health concerns are real, with diabetes affecting about 23.6 million Americans. This is 7.8% of the population with 1.6 million new cases diagnosed each year for people over age 20 years. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may know that the disease can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body. Diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process
The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:
- tooth decay;
- periodontal (gum) disease;
- salivary gland dysfunction;
- fungal infections;
- lichen planus and lichenoid reactions (inflammatory skin disease);
- infection and delayed healing;
- taste impairment.
Preventive oral health care, including professional cleanings at the dental office, is important if you are to control the progression of periodontal disease and other oral health problems. Regular dental checkups and periodontal screenings are important for evaluating overall dental health and for treating dental problems in their initial stages. Your dentist may recommend more frequent evaluations and preventive procedures, such as teeth cleaning, to maintain good oral health.