How Did Halloween Become a Dental Nightmare?

Kids of all ages with a sweet tooth look forward to Halloween and a treasure trove of candies and treats. It is also the time emergency visits to see us skyrocket due to a chipped or cracked tooth from biting hard candy. And we all know the long-term effect that sugar has for creating dental caries and related issues. But Halloween hasn’t always been a day drenched in sugar. Read on to discover how Halloween has evolved into what it is today, and some tips to make it less frightening.

Diabetes and Oral Health

It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that over 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to process the glucose produced from the foods we eat into usable energy. Did you know that it can also affect your oral health?

High blood sugar weakens the immune system, so those with diabetes have a decreased ability to combat the bacteria that can cause infection in the gums. In fact, research indicates that those with diabetes are three times more likely to develop gum disease than those who aren’t diabetic.

The diabetes-oral health connection is a two-way street. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but periodontal disease could make it harder to control blood sugar levels, which could contribute to the progression of diabetes.