Is diabetes increasing my tooth cavities? I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2020. Since that time, I’ve had four new cavities, but I had no new cavities before that since 1992. Are cavities and diabetes related? I guess there isn’t much I can do about it anyway. Just curious. Thanks. Karlton
People who have diabetes are at greater risk for developing specific oral health issues than those who do not have diabetes.
Diabetes lowers infection resistance, and people with it often have a weaker immune system. Periodontal disease and oral candidiasis, or fungal infection, can occur.
Periodontal (gum) disease
When plaque is not regularly removed from between the teeth with daily brushing and flossing, the gums can become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. If periodontal disease is left untreated, the bone supporting the teeth can weaken and break down, resulting in tooth loss and needing a dental implant.
If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you may be at higher risk of developing gum disease. Evidence also suggests that gums that are well cared for can assist in maintaining good glucose levels.
Oral fungal infections
When the immune system is compromised, as with some diabetic patients, fungal infections can occur. Sore red or white patches can appear in the mouth. The tongue can become irritated and painful.
Maintaining good oral health with diabetes
Brush your teeth twice daily. Use floss or an interdental cleaner daily to remove food particles between your teeth and gums. This process is crucial to eliminating plaque-producing bacteria from between your teeth. Receiving your dentist’s regular dental cleanings and checkups is not enough. At-home care is needed, too.
Regularly monitor your blood glucose levels, remembering that there is a relationship between it and your oral health.
If you experience swollen or bleeding gums, don’t wait for your next dental checkup; schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Early detection and treatment are the keys to restoring the health of your teeth and gums.
Beverly Hills accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry Dr. Brian LeSage sponsors this post.