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Diabetes and Tooth Loss

Oral care should be important to everyone. Brushing and flossing should be practiced every day to ensure that gums and teeth remain strong. However, this is especially the case with people who have diabetes. Diabetics are more susceptible to tooth decay and tooth loss than average healthy individuals.

One study showed that diabetics were more than twice as likely to lose all of their teeth than people without diabetes. According to the authors of the study, tooth loss is a major problem for people 60 years and older. It can lead to difficulty chewing, swallowing and problems with daily living. Authors also wrote that the baby boomer generation would continue to experience tooth loss if proper care is not taken. Baby boomers should talk to our dentist if they are experiencing cavities or tooth decay.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, between 2003 and 2004 showed that 28 percent of people with diabetes had lost all of their teeth compared to 14 percent of those who did not have diabetes. The primary causes for tooth loss were gum disease, tooth decay and cavities. The average tooth loss was about 10 teeth for diabetics compared to 7 teeth for people without diabetes. This study shows that diabetics have to put a greater emphasis on their oral health in order to avoid dental problems.

Dentist and healthcare providers should talk to patients with diabetes about their risks with oral health. It’s important that these patients maintain their dental care and eat a healthy diet, especially since they are prone to dental issues. Brushing and flossing twice a day for at least two minutes will help diabetics avoid tooth loss and tooth decay. In addition, avoiding certain foods will help. Foods such as candy, sodas, dark beverages and certain gums can accelerate cavities, tooth loss and tooth decay.

Diabetics should consult a physician as well as a dental professional about their healthy conditions associated with oral health. Diabetes is a serious condition without the complications of dental issues. Making oral care a top priority will only keep diabetics healthier longer. They can maintain healthy teeth and gums from the start of their diagnosis by brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet. A variety of fruits and vegetables is a good start. It’s never too late to talk to our dentist about how you can improve your smile.


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