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02 December 2014

Of Sugar, Diabetes and Tooth Loss

Around 3.2 million people suffer from diabetes in the UK, as of the 2013 data. But as we all know, the condition may bring other complications – one of which is tooth loss. As far as the statistics show, patients with diabetes have a greater risk of losing one or more teeth.

The Bane of Hyperglycaemia

There are several theories that possibly explain why this is the case, but perhaps one of the most common is hyperglycaemia. The theory suggests that when you have high levels of blood sugar, it’s more difficult for the body to remove waste products in the gums. In effect, the bacteria cause gum disease – which, overtime, results in tooth loss.

The acid that stems from the sugar you consume is also partly to blame. As we all know, sugar turns into acid once the saliva starts doing its job. Without glucose to control it, the acid could eventually damage the teeth.

The Ways to Cope

But while the two types of diabetes may affect oral health, you can counter this. The simplest way to do so is to drink lots of water. Rinsing your mouth after eating sugary foods goes a long way in preventing oral health problems in the long run.

As always, patients should brush regularly and properly. This doesn’t mean brushing right away after every meal, though. We recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing the teeth, especially if the meal had acidic food. The waiting time lets the saliva neutralise the acids first to avoid damaging the enamel.

Flossing also helps reduce the sugar in the mouth after a meal. Do note, however, that diabetes patients may have more sensitive gums than normal. Ergo, you have to take extra care when using a floss to get rid of the foodstuff in the mouth.

Lastly, schedule a regular appointment with us. As one of Manchester’s and Cheadle Hulme’s most trusted cosmetic and emergency dentists, we’ll do everything we can to keep your oral health in check. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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