Diabetes And Its Impact On Dental Health In Illinois

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that affects the body’s ability to properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. The resulting high blood sugar levels can cause a number of health issues with the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, limbs — and even your oral health!

What’s the connection between diabetes and your mouth? Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, diabetics are at a heightened risk for gum disease, with a higher rate of severe bone loss and gum infection.   Conversely, studies show that having advanced gum disease can adversely cause blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to manage. It’s a two-way street — having one condition may heighten the risk for the other. Untreated diabetes also produces dry mouth, a condition that can cause tooth decay, ulcers and sores in the mouth.

Diabetes on the Rise: Diabetes and Oral Health in Illinois

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that as of 2015, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes — that’s over 9 percent of the U.S. population. In that same year, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in our country.

Here in Illinois, an astonishing 800,000 adults are living with diabetes. That means your neighbors, friends and family members are struggling to control their blood sugar levels, and as a result, are susceptible to other serious health problems. Ongoing research continues to show a strong connection between gum disease and diabetes, making it more important than ever to include oral health as a vital part of diabetes prevention and management.   

Prevention and Treatment

The first step to preventing oral health problems associated with diabetes is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and good gum health. Simple lifestyle improvements are the best defenses against both gum disease and diabetes. With a commitment to taking charge of your blood sugar levels and a dedicated oral health care routine, the potential for these issues is greatly reduced. Diabetes and dental treatment should include:

  • Management of diabetes by maintaining a healthy body weight through daily physical activity.
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that eliminates sugar and saturated fat intake.
  • Avoiding tobacco use, as smoking increases the risk for diabetes and gum disease.
  • Practicing excellent oral hygiene habits at home, including twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing.
  • Maintaining regular checkups with a dentist for cleanings and exams to effectively prevent and detect any problems with the mouth.

Grove Dental: Your Partner in Oral Health

With more than 30 dentists, extended office hours, a complete range of dental services and four offices in Lombard, Bolingbrook, Wheaton and Downers Grove, Grove Dental is proud to be Chicagoland’s one-stop resource for all of your family’s dental needs. We invite you to visit our practice to learn more about our unique approach to patient care and how we can best meet your goals for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Whether you have diabetes or are at risk for the disease, we want to partner with you to help you understand the connection between diabetes and teeth or periodontal disease. We can work with you and your physician to help you control your diabetes and prevent gum infections. Contact Grove Dental today to learn more about preventative dentistry.