The link between diabetes and oral health is widely known. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels lead to the development of many oral health problems. The reason is that high diabetes weakens the white blood cells. These cells are the body’s main defense system and their weakening leads to bacterial infection in the mouth. This is one side of the coin. But do you know that your poor oral health can also complicate your diabetes management? To know more about it, OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Kishkindha (BDS), who worked at Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab.
How Poor Oral Health Complicates Diabetes?
Oral care is a crucial part of daily life and is more important for people with diabetes. Poor oral care not only leads to gum diseases and tooth decay but can also come in the way of managing diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes extremely high amounts of glucose in the saliva, which promotes the growth of dangerous bacteria in the mouth. The inflammation in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Since diabetic people cannot process or control sugar, the risk of complications in diabetes management increases.
Also read: Debunking 5 Biggest Myths About Sugar And Your Teeth
Dr Kishkindha said, “Due to poor oral health there is worsening of the glycemic control (blood sugar levels) in people increase over time and the sugar level spikes beyond the base or normal range.”
Furthermore, chronic gum disease can spike blood glucose levels, making diabetes management even more challenging. High amounts of glucose in the blood considerably increase the risk of bacterial infection and have a negative impact on recovery.
Backed Up by Study
A nationwide population-based cohort study published on the National Library of Medicine concluded, “Improved oral hygiene is associated with decreased risk of new-onset diabetes.” The stud noted that of all the included subjects, 17.5% had periodontal disease and after a follow-up of 10 years, 16.1% of the patients developed diabetes. An increased number of missing teeth may augment new-onset diabetes, the researchers noted.
This study concluded by stating that brushing frequently and improving oral hygiene may decrease the risk of new-onset diabetes.
How To Avoid The Risk?
By improving your oral care, you can prevent diabetes complications. You can follow these simple oral care techniques for better outcomes:
- Eat a diet healthy for your teeth that also aids in the management of your diabetes. You can include foods rich in fiber.
- Brush properly and use floss to get rid of leftover food particles and plaque.
- Rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash.
- If you have dentures, keep them clean and wash them daily.
- Quit smoking and alcohol.
Your poor oral hygiene not only leads to diabetes but other serious complications like heart conditions as well. So, it is very important to go for a regular dental check-up. Visit your dentist even if you feel your teeth and gums are in a better condition. It is recommended to get a dental check-up once in six months.
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