Diabetes can affect the physical health of your entire body, including your oral health. This happens due to additional levels of blood glucose, which can put those with diabetes at a higher risk for certain dental problems. It is particularly important to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine to minimize the risk of developing dental problems.
What Dental Problems Can be Caused by Diabetes?
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease. Gum disease occurs when the gums and bone are infected. It can lead to a variety of problems, including difficulty with eating and eventual tooth loss. Failure to keep blood glucose levels in check make it more likely that those with diabetes will get gum disease. In fact, they will get it more often and more severely than those who manage their blood glucose well.
- Gum Inflammation. Symptoms might include gums that bleed, are swollen and sore.
- Dry Mouth. This is a very uncomfortable condition with symptoms that can include mouth sores and a raw tongue. It can also lead to other conditions, including ulcers, infections and the decay of teeth. This is also a symptom of diabetes that has not yet been detected.
- Thrush. This is a fungal infection of the mouth. Symptoms include the sensation as if the mouth and tongue are burning. Those with diabetes are particularly susceptible to this oral health problem due to the high amounts of sugar in the saliva, which the fungus thrives on.
How Should People with Diabetes Take Care of Their Oral Health?
The increased oral health risks associated with diabetes can be minimized by the following:
- Maintaining Excellent Blood Glucose Levels. This means managing your numbers and making healthy food choices and controlling carb intake. It also means avoiding drinks that are too sweet (particularly drinks that are filled with high fructose corn syrup) and taking medication as prescribed. Maintaining good blood glucose levels also means having an exercise routine as it allows the body to utilize glucose and insulin.
- Following Good Oral Hygiene Habits. Just like everyone else, it is important to maintain proper oral care. This includes brushing your teeth two times a day , flossing every day and not sleeping with your dentures in if you wear them. Also ensure that you schedule regular dental hygiene appointments of 3-4 months intervals.
If you have diabetes and it’s been more than 4 months since your last dental hygiene appointment, it is time for your next one. Contact our team of professionals at Sierra Dental today for a great dental experience today.