Why did my dentist ask if my blood sugar was controlled?

High blood sugar can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body, including your mouth and overall oral health. People with diabetes are at greater risk for gum disease. Diabetes can also lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process. If you are having oral surgery, it is especially important to keep glucose levels under control before, during and after surgery to help with the healing process.
Your dentist may wonder if your blood sugar is controlled because you have indications of gum disease in your mouth. While anyone can get gum disease, you have a higher chance of severe gum disease (periodontitis) if you have abnormal blood glucose levels. People with severe gum disease are at risk for chronic problems, including bleeding, inflammation, loose teeth, pus between the gum and the teeth, bone destruction and tooth loss. Because periodontal disease can be managed, your dentist can help you understand more about your daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing your teeth and any treatments you might need. In addition to periodontal disease, people with abnormal blood glucose are at higher risk for a fungal infection in the mouth called thrush. Dry mouth is also common in people with diabetes and it can be a risk factor of gum disease, too.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.