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It is estimated that roughly 16 million people in this country have diabetes. Nearly 800,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. It is one of the most prevalent health concerns in the country. And it can affect the body in many different ways, including the mouth.

One of the most common ways diabetes manifests itself in oral health is with gum disease. Gum disease can occur in anyone, and while diabetes isn’t necessarily a risk factor for developing gum disease, it does make gum disease more difficult to deal with when it sets in.

One factor that can increase the likelihood of gum disease that is common in many people with diabetes is dry mouth. Bacteria in the mouth thrive in the dry situation caused by the lack of saliva. This can be caused by certain medications or high blood sugar, and can be combated by drinking plenty of water and chewing gum to stimulate saliva production.

Many people with diabetes also have trouble fighting infection. This means that when gum disease develops, the body has trouble resisting its progression. As it progresses, gums and other tissues pull away from the teeth, loosening them to the point where they can fall out. This is part of why 1 out of every 5 total tooth losses can be linked to diabetes.

If you have diabetes, your oral health is especially important to maintain. Gum disease is preventable with effective oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. Please call Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates in Sandy Springs, GA, to talk about a more personalized oral hygiene approach.