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Conditions That Can Affect Your Smile

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You already know that it’s important to brush and floss regularly to keep your smile looking great. There are also veneers, braces and whitening procedures that can make your teeth shine and appear the way you want them to. What you might not be aware of, however, is that certain illnesses, conditions and medications can wreak havoc with your smile. If you have a new diagnosis or are taking a new medication, it’s important to mention it to your dentist so he or she can talk to you about how it might affect your teeth. Here are some potentially teeth-affecting conditions you should be aware of.


If you have diabetes, your body is unable to regulate your blood sugar levels. Diabetics generally change their diets and use medications to keep their blood sugar levels as steady as possible, but many times there are fluctuations that can affect their oral health.

If you have diabetes, you might find that you get more infections than usual. These include oral infections. Also, diabetes can cause a dry mouth, which can lead to irritation, ulcers and other issues, including gum disease. In addition, oral health problems can actually exacerbate diabetes, creating a cycle that can be hard to break.

Work carefully with your endocrinologist to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Let your dentist know that you have diabetes, as you might need additional cleanings or other more intensive preventative dental care.


If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, often called GERD, you might be used to the unpleasant feeling of having stomach acid back up into your esophagus and even into the back of your throat. Unfortunately, this acid can get into your mouth and start wearing away at the enamel on your teeth. This can cause discoloration, sensitivity and, in some cases, an increased risk of developing dental decay on those teeth.

Working with your primary care physician or a gastrointestinal specialist can help you get your GERD symptoms under control. There are both medications and lifestyle changes that you might be able to make to reduce or even eliminate your symptoms. In addition, let your dentist know that you are suffering from GERD so your teeth can be treated, if necessary.


Pregnancy is not an illness, of course, but it can actually impact your teeth more than you might know. Hormonal changes can cause your gums to swell, leading to pockets that are perfect hosts to growing bacteria. In addition, you might be tempted to skip flossing due to soreness and swelling of the gums.

You should have cleanings and, in some cases, fillings, while you are pregnant. Your dentist will hold off on nonessential x-rays and more invasive work unless it can’t be avoided. Remember that if you end up with an infection, it’s very important to treat it. With any procedure, the benefits will need to outweigh the risks. The good news is that most dental procedures are very safe for you and for your unborn baby, and precautions will be taken whenever possible.

Taking good care of your overall health will, in turn, keep your smile healthy and attractive. Call the office if you need to make an appointment for a consultation on how your health might be affecting your smile.

Call 919.388.3111 to make an appointment or

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