Our dental clinic is open and you can read our COVID-safe procedures here.
We have unfortunately had to temporarily stop our beauty treatments in line with Government regulations. All existing appointments will be rescheduled.
Around 7% of the UK population is now living with diabetes; approximately one million people have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, 40 000 children have diabetes and more than 3000 children are diagnosed every year.
Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. All food you eat is turned into sugar and used for energy. In Type I diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone that carries sugar from your blood to the cells that need it for energy. In Type II diabetes, the body stops responding to insulin. Both cases result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.
So what does it have to do with your smile and what can you do to protect it?
If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have oral health problems like cavities, gum disease and general inflammation. Your mouth doesn't heal as quickly.
The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.
If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. You should call your dentist if you:
Everyone has more tiny bacteria living in your mouth now than there are people on this planet. If these bacteria make their home in your gums, you can end up with a periodontal disease. This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk of gum problems. In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. Diabetes is harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practising good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your hygienist can help to lower your HbA1c. (This is a lab test that shows your average level of blood sugar over the previous three months. It indicates how well you are controlling your diabetes.) At Bow Lane, our dental team can carry out this HbA1c test and give you your result in minutes.
But most importantly, you need to think about protecting your teeth and gums. It is what you do every day that counts.
Teamwork involving self-care and professional care from your Bow Lane dentist will be beneficial in keeping your healthy smile as well as potentially slowing progression of diabetes. Here are some oral health-related habits you can build on that will help you:
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care.
Copyright © 2023 Bow Lane as part of Bow Lane Limited registered in England and Wales with Company Number 07353608. This website was last updated on 29/03/2022 at 16:01
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