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SeniorBackgammonSmIf you have diabetes, then you need to be especially diligent in caring for your smile. Diabetes impacts the entire body, and your mouth isn’t immune to the effects of this disease. Harrisonburg VA dentists Dr. Scott Dunaway, Dr. Marion Messmer, and Dr. Beulah Warf can help you maintain good oral health in the face of diabetes. Let your dentist know if you have diabetes and what medications, if any, that you take. Keeping us informed lets us better serve you.

Here, your Harrisonburg VA dentists discuss some of the oral-related conditions to which diabetes can contribute, as well as tips to keep your smile healthy and strong.

The Culprit

Uncontrolled blood sugar can damage tissues throughout the body, including your smile. Here’s how:

  • Decreased saliva flow can result in dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and oral infections.
  • The bacteria that cause cavities rely on starches and sugars to form plaque. Excess plaque can lead to tooth decay. Elevated blood sugar levels provide these bad bacteria with fuel to damage your smile.
  • Your body’s ability to fight infection is hindered when blood sugar levels are high. In this situation, gum disease can take hold and progress. Advanced gum disease, called periodontitis, may actually contribute to elevated blood sugar levels, creating a cycle of destruction.
  • Fungal infections, such as thrush, flourish in saliva laden with high levels of sugar.

Keys to Success

The key to preserving oral health is getting and keeping good blood sugar levels. Other activities that contribute to healthy smiles for people with diabetes include brushing and flossing as directed by the dentist, visiting our Harrisonburg dentist’s office for regular checkups and cleanings, keeping us informed about your health, and letting us know the medications you take.

Your Harrisonburg VA dentist is an integral part of your healthcare team. Call us today.

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