Your Teeth and Your Health – Let’s Talk Diabetes
Did you know that the health of your mouth affects the health of your entire body?
The correlation between poor oral health and blood pressure problems, heart disease and even some cancers is well documented. Dr. Vicki Fidler is passionate about helping her patients achieve and maintain the best oral health possible, thereby helping them maintain the best overall health possible.
There is one health subject that is very near to her heart, as it is one she personally deals with on a daily basis: Diabetes.
Let’s talk about diabetes, health, and dental care.
There are 3 well-documented types of diabetes, as well as several newly understood variations of each disease. All have similar and equally important effects on your oral health.
The 3 main types of diabetes are:
Although each form of the disease has different treatment needs and underlying causes, if untreated they all result in high blood sugars and put you at greater risk for oral issues.
High blood sugars can lead to gum disease and cavities. The presence of gum disease can affect blood sugars. It’s a two-way street. If you have diabetes, you cannot afford to ignore your oral health!
Living with diabetes
Dr. Fidler’s own experience with diabetes started with her first pregnancy. She was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and had it for each of her following pregnancies as well.
In 2005, her blood sugars once again began to rise. This time she was diagnosed with a form of Diabetes called Latent Autoimmune Diabetes. It is treated the same as Type I Diabetes. Her body no longer makes sufficient insulin for her to live, and she has been using insulin injections to control her blood sugars for the past decade.
In her line of work as a Seattle dentist, she regularly sees the negative impact poor management of diabetes can have on oral health. And transversely, she sees the impact poor oral health can have on the management of diabetes. The most common effects she sees are bleeding gums and cavities, particularly at the gum line.
Dr. Fidler wants you to know…
You do not have to suffer from oral health problems just because you have diabetes!
Like all aspects of dealing with diabetes, it does take good care and effort to be successful.
With a little extra time and energy and having a dentist that is an active part of your health care team, you can not only keep your mouth healthy, but you can also avoid the complications of poor oral health on your diabetes management.
What do you need to do?
- Brush and floss daily.
- Make sure your dentist is aware of the fact that you have diabetes, as well as any medications you are taking for it.
- Get regular dental check-ups, and address any issues that come up quickly.
- Keep your diabetes doctor aware of any oral conditions you are dealing with, so they can help monitor and control your medications and blood sugars.
- Call your dentist immediately if you notice any swelling or bleeding in your gums so a situation can be addressed before it becomes serious.
Having a good health care team is a key factor in being successful in controlling your diabetes. Your dentist is a key member of that team! Dr. Fidler is a dentist who understands the unique challenges diabetics face.
Would you like to talk with Dr. Fidler about how she can help you protect your oral health? Our Seattle dentist is centrally located for convenient travel from Capitol Hill, Ballard, Sandpoint, Queen Anne, Laurelhurst, North Seattle, Madison Park, University Village, and Wedgewood.