Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry


Thursday, September 18, 2014
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth

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Evidence shows that older Americans are at risk for greater oral health problems than other groups because of age and the inability to get to a dentistís office due to an existing medical condition or lack of transportation.



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How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

 
Chapter: How Gum Disease and Diabetes Relate

Because diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection, the gums are at risk for gingivitis, an inflammation usually caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the sticky film that accumulates on teeth both above and below the gum line. Without regular dental check-ups, gum disease may result if gingivitis is left untreated. It also can cause inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone and fibers that hold the gums to the teeth.

  

Diabetics may experience burning mouth syndrome and fungal infections, such as thrush and oral candidiasis. Dry mouth (xerostomia) also may develop, causing an increased incidence of decay. To prevent problems with bacterial infections in the mouth, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, medicated mouth rinses and more frequent cleanings.
 
Reviewed: January 2012
 
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