If you have diabetes, you know it is important to take care of your health. But did you know that your dental health is just as important? People with diabetes are at an increased risk for specific oral health problems, so it is vital to be proactive in dental care. But what does that entail, exactly?
The Connection between Diabetes and Teeth and Gum Health
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can majorly impact your lifestyle. Diabetes and dental health impact one another adversely. People with diabetes need to take extra care of their teeth and gums as they can be at a greater risk of gum disease and other dental problems. Also, dental treatment for diabetic patients requires special methods. Studies have indicated that poor glycemic control is associated with an increased risk of periodontal disease and other oral health problems such as gingivitis and cavities. This is primarily due to the effect high blood sugar levels have on the body’s ability to fight off infection.
How Diabetes Can Affect Teeth and Gums
When someone has diabetes, their blood glucose levels usually are higher than average, which causes the body to produce more urine. This excessive urination causes the body to lose more fluids than it should, leading to oral health problems. Unfortunately, these symptoms worsen over time as diabetes is not curable and must be managed with lifestyle changes, leading to dental health problems.
The high levels of glucose in the saliva of people with diabetes result in an increased risk of bacterial growth and biofilm formation, which can lead to caries, periodontal disease, and other oral infections.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to dry mouth due to reduced saliva production. This condition increases tooth decay risk due to reduced plaque removal rates and decreased buffering capacity.
Diabetes also affects gingival tissue health due to immunological contributing to increased inflammation, which may lead to recession, periodontal pocket formation, and alveolar bone loss. Therefore, individuals with diabetes need to receive regular dental exams and maintenance to reduce the risk of these conditions.
Dental Health in Children with Diabetes
The dental and oral health problems can be roughly divided into two categories: hard tissue and soft tissue. Kids with dental and oral problems can have negative effects on their health, well-being, and quality of life. Besides that, it is known that the relationship between chronic dental and oral health problems can develop into systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes later in life. Caries (hard tissue disease) and periodontal disease (soft tissue disease) are significant diseases that have a worldwide impact on children’s healthDental and oral health problems in elementary school children (Pediatric Dental Journal) 2020
Read More about Dental Treatment Effect on Health
Children with diabetes need to maintain good dental health. Diabetes increases the risk of dental problems in children because high blood sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, which can affect gums and teeth. The diet of children with diabetes should be low in sugar and high in nutrients in order to maintain good dental health. To remove plaque buildup, they should brush twice a day and floss every day.
Diabetes children may also be more susceptible to cavities and other dental problems, so they should have regular dental checkups. The Your Child’s dentist can detect signs of gum disease during these checkups and provide advice on how to maintain good oral health. Diabetes parents should also discuss any dental concerns they have with their child’s healthcare team. Children with diabetes can maintain good dental health and prevent complications by working together with their parents and healthcare professionals.
A fungal infection known as oral thrush or candidiasis is caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast living in the mouth. High sugar levels in saliva can weaken the immune system, and a dry mouth can allow these fungi to grow and cause oral thrush. Your dentist can prescribe antifungal medications if necessary to treat this condition.
What to Do for Your Oral Health if You Have Diabetes
An excellent dental routine can benefit diabetes patients in several ways.
- Firstly, good dental hygiene helps reduce the risk of infection and gum disease, which can have an adverse effect on managing diabetes.
- Secondly, oral bacteria can travel to other body parts, aggravating inflammation and potentially negatively impacting blood glucose levels. It can also help prevent diabetes-related health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, by reducing the risk of infections in the mouth.
Take charge of your dental health and schedule your appointment now to secure your spot for a stunning smile! Don’t wait any longer – book your dental treatment services today!
1. Brushing and Flossing
Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day helps remove plaque and food particles that can lead to infection and decay. Diabetic patients should use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth thoroughly. They should also floss carefully between each tooth to remove plaque buildup.
2. Eating Right and Avoiding Sugary Foods
Eating a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps keep teeth strong while reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Instead of sugary snacks, opt for healthier, lower-sugar alternatives, like fresh fruit. And it is important to remember that even healthy snacks like nuts or dried fruits can stick to your teeth, so it is essential to brush and floss soon after finishing them.
3. Drinking Enough Water
A decrease in water intake can lead to dehydration, increasing the risk of gum disease and other oral infections. Water helps to flush away bacteria and other particles that may cause cavities, bad breath, and other dental issues. Drinking enough water can also help to keep your mouth moist, which aids in the healing process and prevents dry mouth associated with diabetes.
4. Consult with Your Doctor
The doctor can provide information regarding the medications and dietary habits contributing to healthy teeth and gums. Ask your doctor any questions related to your situation and advice on maintaining good oral health.
5. Pay Attention to Your Blood Sugar Levels
If your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, it can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Therefore, keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels and maintaining regular dental check-ups and cleanings is essential.
Attention to food intake, physical activity, and medication can help keep your blood sugar levels within normal range. To help keep your blood sugar levels in check, try to maintain a regular eating schedule and avoid skipping meals. Always be sure to check your blood sugar before each meal.
6. Regular Dental Check-ups
Do not forget to visit your dentist biannually (every six months). The dentist will check for signs of oral cancer, gum inflammation, decay, and other dental considerations for diabetes patients that could affect the patient’s health. They will also provide advice on dental management for diabetic patients at home. It is the most important part of maintaining good oral health; never skip your dentist appointment!
Benefits of Dental Treatment for Diabetic Patients
Professional dental treatment for diabetic patients can improve their overall health and well-being in a number of ways. Studies have shown that periodontal disease can lead to poor glucose control and worsen diabetes symptoms. By receiving timely preventive care, diabetic patients can reduce their risk of developing periodontal disease and diabetes symptoms.
But what are the considerations for diabetic patients in dentistry?
- Certain treatments are safe for people with diabetes so long as blood sugar levels are in a diabetes safe range for dental treatment. High blood glucose can add to the risk of dental infections, so treatments should only be performed when glucose is within the optimum range, most of the time in the morning.
- In dental care for people with type 1 diabetes, the appointment schedule should be such that it does not coincide with the peak insulin activity, which increases the risk of hypoglycemia for patients using short or long-acting insulin therapy.
To prevent any damage to the teeth and gums, fillings or a crown may be recommended, depending on the degree of decay and where it is located in the mouth. Orthodontic treatment may also be recommended if crooked teeth are a factor, while root canals or extractions may be necessary if abscesses or other complications arise.
Your dental health is very important if you have diabetes, so make sure you get regular dental checkups and treatments. Acacia Dental Clinic is here to provide comprehensive care for diabetic patients. We specialise in preventive dental treatment for diabetic patients and can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call us today to schedule an appointment and get the proper care you need!