Welcome to Hartwell Dentistry first blog of 2012.

Today, Dentist Camberwell will be looking at the effects of Diabetes on Oral Health.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting the way the human body converts sugars from food into energy. Insulin is the hormone that converts sugars from food into energy, in people with diabetes, insulin is either no longer produced, is not produced correctly or the amount produced is insufficient.

There are several forms of diabetes; however the 2 main types of diabetes are Type 1 and 2, with Type 2 being the most common form of diabetes. 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.

It is important to understand that diabetes can also have detrimental effects on our oral health.

The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:

  • tooth decay;
  • periodontal (gum) disease;
  • salivary gland dysfunction;
  • fungal infections;
  • lichen planus;
  • infection and delayed healing;
  • taste impairment.

Tooth Decay and Diabetes

When diabetes is not controlled properly, glucose can be found in both saliva and in fluid released between gum and tooth. If the glucose level in saliva is high, this can help bacteria thrive, and begin the tooth decay process. This is why we still diagnose decay with poorly controlled diabetic patients even though they are brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning once a day between your teeth with floss.

Part 2 coming next fortnight with more common oral health problems associated with diabetes.