Diabetes is a serious disease with a wide variety of negative implications on the human body. The negative effects of diabetes include effects on the teeth and gums. We take a look at oral problems to be aware of when living with diabetes.
There are two major types of gum diseases which are common in diabetic patients – gingivitis and periodontitis. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, but if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis. While gingivitis can be prevented or controlled by proper gum care, periodontitis cannot be treated using the process as the body’s fighting ability to infections becomes inhibited due to diabetes. Thus, immediate dental supervision by a dentist is needed as having gum disease can lead to the body unable to regulate its glucose levels, which in turn, would worsen the diabetic condition.
Cavities and Dry Mouth
Cavities are caused when pathogens attack and invade the tooth. They start by eroding the enamel and progressing forward even attack the inner tooth layers and the blood vessels and nerves. Diabetics are more susceptible to having cavities due to the fact that they produce less saliva, which protects the teeth and inhibits the attacking power of the pathogens. Another reason for diabetics being more susceptible is the presence of excess glucose in their body, which cannot be regulated properly due to the lack of insulin.
Dry mouth is also a major reason for cavity formation, and diabetics have to ensure that their mouth is not dry all the time. In addition, dry mouth can lead to bad breath. Hence diabetics are advised to use mouth fresheners and mints to ensure freshness.
Oral Care for Diabetic Patients
The increased risk of oral problems due to diabetes makes it extremely important to practise ways and measures for proper oral and dental hygiene. Some tips for maintaining oral hygiene for diabetics include-
- Brushing and flossing your teeth – One should brush their teeth at least twice per day, preferably after waking up in the morning and before heading to sleep for the night. One should also floss their teeth at least once a day. These measures will prevent plaque build-up and help to avoid tooth and gum issues.
- Managing diet – Patients with diabetes already have a plethora of restrictions on their food, with a lot of food items barred for consumption as it could lead to complications. On top of these restrictions, making sure to avoid foods rich in sugar would also help to maintain oral health and prevent tooth decay.
- Making your dentist aware – An extremely important step is to let your dentist know about your diabetes as it would help him or her to schedule your dental appointments better as diabetics are more susceptible to oral and dental diseases and better scheduling would help them detects problems early on.
Belvedere Family Dentistry specializes in oral and dental treatments for diabetic patients as well as non-diabetic patients of all age groups. Their team involves professional and caring staff that is quick yet efficient in providing the best care for your tooth and gums.