November is American Diabetes Month, and in addition to raising awareness about vital diabetic health care, it’s also an important reminder about the impacts diabetes can have on a person’s oral health. According to the American Dental Association, people with diabetes often have more serious dental health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, infection and delayed healing, salivary gland dysfunction, taste impairment, and many others. The ADA explains that “high glucose levels in your saliva can help bacteria thrive,” which means diabetics need to be extra vigilant about brushing and flossing.
In addition, people with diabetes are prone to fungal infections in the mouth due to a lower salivary flow and higher glucose levels in the saliva. The ADA recommends that you contact your dentist if you notice any sore red or white patches in your mouth or on your tongue, or if you have difficulty swallowing or tasting. You should also schedule an appointment with your dental care provider if your gums bleed easily or are swollen; if there’s pus between your teeth and gums; or if you have persistent bad breath. Left untreated, these minor problems can quickly escalate into major dental concerns, so be sure to take advantage of the discount dental plans you receive through True Care and get treated as soon as possible.