Dr. Stephen A. Price


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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

By: | Thursday, November 15th, 2018 | General Dentistry, Oral Health

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Dental Services BURKE, VAWith this month being Diabetes Awareness Month, there is no better time to discuss the real risks posed by unregulated blood sugar. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know that consistently high blood sugar levels can affect your kidneys, your heart, nerves, eyes, and your teeth and gums. It is our intent to help all of our patients overcome their particular risks for oral disease so they can enjoy a healthy smile for life.

The Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health Problems

Blood sugar is the original problem affecting diabetics. The inconsistency of blood sugar levels puts stress on every part of the body. This is because the white blood cells that protect us from viruses, bacteria, and disease are weakened by excessive blood sugar. Because the mouth is a complete ecosystem with its own unique bacterial content, there is a particular risk for dental disease in individuals whose immune system is compromised in any way.

Specific dental problems associated with diabetes include:

What about cavities?

There is a common school of thought that people with diabetes are much more likely to get cavities than those who do not have this health problem. The theory is that diabetics have more glucose in their saliva and that this enables bacteria in the mouth to thrive. Thriving bacteria eat away at enamel as well as gum tissue.

In reality, a person with diabetes has the ability to significantly reduce their risk for cavities and also gum disease. The heightened risk for tooth decay relates to persistently high blood sugar. When a person with diabetes is mindful about diet and prescribed therapies to regulate blood sugar, there may be no greater risk of cavities than is common to the average person.

Diabetes and Tooth Loss

Many people with diabetes carry unnecessary concern that they will lose their teeth as a result of their blood sugar levels. While it is true that uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of gingivitis and progressive gum disease, there is usually ample opportunity to get gum health well under control long before the stability of teeth is affected.

Brushing, flossing, and frequent dental checkups and cleanings are as beneficial for the person with diabetes as they are for everyone. Schedule your checkup and cleaning in our Burke office at (703)-935-2879.



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