Question: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, how will this affect my dental care? Anonymous, Orangeburg, NY
Answer: Diabetes can affect both your oral health and your dental care in a number of ways. This is why it is important to be aware of the condition and to let your dentist know your status.
Probably the most important effect of the diabetes on dental care is that of decreased or potentially compromised wound healing in both hard and soft tissue, (gums and bones). Therefore, uncontrolled diabetics are at a higher risk of infection after dental surgery and other invasive procedures.
Diabetic patients also have higher incidence of dry mouth, gum inflammation and periodontal disease as well as oral thrush (fungal infections). It should be noted that smoking can often exacerbate the effects of diabetes. If you are diabetic, don’t neglect your oral care, but work with your dentist and physician in order to be treated safely and effectively.