Posted .

At Dr. Ellie's Gentle Dentistry in San Diego, California, we have seen what can happen when people neglect their smiles. This is even more impactful when you have a medical condition which affects your oral health, such as diabetes.

To understand how your smile is affected by your health, you have to understand how the microbiology in the mouth works. You see, your mouth is home to millions of bacteria which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. This bacteria flourishes in a sticky film known as plaque.

Plaque coats the tooth of the teeth and gums unless it is cleared away daily when you brush and floss. The problem is, for those patients with diabetes, chronic high blood sugar makes them more vulnerable as the body’s immune response is weakened and the bacteria proliferate.

Daily removal of bacterial plaque is key to protecting your oral health: brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. This keeps harmful bacteria under control. Your immune system and your teeth will benefit from a balanced diet low in sugars and carbs. Drinking lots of water will also stimulate healthy saliva levels to prevent dry mouth. Unless you remove plaque daily, it will harden and require removal with dental tools.

Early gum disease, or gingivitis, starts when plaque causes the gums to swell, turn red, and bleed. Eventually, gingivitis leads to periodontitis–a severe infection of your gum tissue. Without treatment, the infected gums will recede from the teeth, the teeth will loosen, and the bone supporting the teeth break down, leading to tooth loss.

Be sure to take good care of your smile. To find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Elhameh Allamehzadeh, please give our team a call at 619-542-1800 today.