Diabetes and the Teeth

Diabetes is a huge problem for the world today, and due to obesity and our poor diet, the number of diabetics is rising fast. Currently approximately 422 million adults have diabetes; by 2040 this will rise to 642 million and unfortunately 46% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed, so they don’t know the risks to their health and are not able to take steps to protect themselves.

There are a number of complications associated with diabetes including cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. The teeth are also affected in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Due to reduced blood supply to the gums, the risk of gum disease is much higher and diabetes sufferers tend to suffer from dry mouth, which can increase bacteria and plaque build-up.

Keeping an eye on your dental health, may be a way to see that you are developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research. Researchers in The Netherlands assessed over 300 patients of a dental clinic and found that those who were suffering from periodontitis also had the markers for pre-diabetes and 18% of those with severe gum disease were suffering from suspected diabetes.

The researchers suggested that giving people a finger prick diabetes test at the dentist if they were suffering from severe gum disease could help with early diagnosis of diabetes before other complications arise.

This is a small study and more research needs to be done in this area, but it is a good example of how dental health can be linked to other health conditions and how dentists play an important role of checking overall health during a dental check-up.

Consider your regular dentist appointment as an important health check and make sure you keep an eye on your dental health and go and see your dentist quickly if you spot any changes or discomfort. We are here to help keep you healthy!

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, try your best to control your blood sugar level and following your doctor’s orders. Please take extra care with your teeth, be fastidious about brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, ideally brushing after every meal. Come and see us if there are any problems, before they get serious.

Remember everyone should visit the dentist at least once a year, so if you haven’t been to see a dentist in the last year, or haven’t got a dentist in Marbella yet, please come and see us. The earlier you see a dentist, the easier any treatment will be and we promise to be gentle, kind, patient and understanding.