Tooth Loss in People with Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may be more likely to lose your teeth, according to a recent study. The study, which gathered data from the 2003 and 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, found that those who had diabetes were two times more likely to lose their teeth than those who did not have diabetes.
Losing a tooth can affect you in a lot of ways. You might find it harder to bite and chew different kinds of food, while your speech may become less clear or even mumbled, also. Many people who have lost teeth feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the way they look. In those with diabetes, the tooth loss increases their risk of oral infections and bone loss.
More than 2,500 people over the age of 50 participated in the study. While only 14 percent of those who did not have diabetes lost all of their teeth, nearly 30 percent of diabetics suffered from total tooth loss. The risk was highest in those who smoked, had less education or were from low income families. About 20 percent of the cases of total tooth loss in the U.S. could be directly linked to diabetes, according to the study authors.
Diabetics can take several steps to maintain their dental health. Managing your diabetes may be one of the most important ways to keep your teeth healthy. Without dramatic blood glucose swings, your body is able to better fight off infections, and you may be able to avoid thrush, dry mouth or other common diabetes-related dental problems. Carefully brush and floss twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Finally, if you have lost a tooth, consider replacing it with a dental implant. Dental implants are as close to the natural tooth as you can get, and they offer an effective, reliable long-term solution.
You may need to have more than two checkups and professional cleanings a year to monitor your smile. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.
Back to Blog