High blood sugar is a link between diabetes and oral health problems. Oral health issues are more likely to arise if blood sugar is not controlled correctly. This is because uncontrolled diabetes weakens white blood cells, the body’s primary defense against bacterial infections in the mouth. Those with diabetes are more prone to develop periodontal problems, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
If you have diabetes, you must take extra care of your teeth and gums and maintain blood glucose levels within the target range. Visit your dentist every 6 to 12 months for guidance on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What Dental Issues Are Related to Diabetes?
- Dry Mouth: Less saliva may be produced, making your mouth dry. Your chances of developing tooth decay increase because saliva helps remove germs that cause cavities.
- Gum Inflammation (Gingivitis) and Periodontitis: In addition to causing blood vessels to thicken, diabetes weakens white blood cells. This delays the passage of nutrients to and waste products from tissues throughout the body, including the mouth. The body’s capacity to fight infections is compromised when this series of events occurs. Those with uncontrolled diabetes may have more frequent periodontal disease and more severe symptoms since it is a bacterial infection.
- Slow Healing of Oral Tissues: Uncontrolled diabetes can damage blood flow to the treatment site, making it difficult for patients to recover after oral surgery or other dental operations.
- Thrush: Oral thrush, commonly called oral candidiasis, is a fungal infection of the mouth’s tissues. Painful white buildup patches on the tongue or inside the oral cavity’s tissue lining are its defining features. Antifungal medications can be used to control this condition, which isn’t contagious, but if it isn’t treated, the fungus could spread to other body parts and cause more severe issues.
- Burning Mouth or Tongue: Thrush is the root cause of this condition.
- Smoking increases a person’s chance of developing periodontal disease and thrush up to 20 times compared to non-smokers. Smoking also appears to reduce blood flow to the gums, which might interfere with the tissue’s ability to repair wounds.
- Disturbances in Taste: Diabetes can also impair your ability to taste your meal and raise the risk of oral infections from minor cuts or sores.
The type of condition you have will determine your treatment. For example, patients with periodontal disease will require treatment from a dentist, who could do a deep cleaning of their teeth or recommend them a periodontist for gum surgery. The dentist may also recommend a specific mouth rinse.
A dentist or doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication to treat the symptoms of thrush. If you wear dentures (false teeth), you may also require a particular cleaning solution. A doctor or dentist may suggest medication to keep your mouth moist if you have a dry mouth.
Advice on Maintaining Good Dental Health for People with Diabetes
- Take your diabetic medicines as advised to control your blood sugar levels.
- Consume a balanced diet and exercise frequently.
- Avoid smoking. Remember that using tobacco products, even smokeless ones, might harm your teeth.
- If you use detachable bridgework or dentures, clean them properly each day.
- Use a soft-bristled brush twice daily and brush for at least two minutes each time.
- Use regular floss or a special flossing tool to clean between your teeth once a day.
- If a wire or bracket (such as those in braces) wounds your tongue or mouth, call your orthodontist right away.
- Getting a cleaning and checkup at the dentist at least once every six months, potentially more frequently if they advise it.
Looking for the Best Dental Treatments in Thornhill, Toronto?
Although maintaining good dental health may not be the primary goal of diabetes control, it is a vital component of diabetes care. Dental problems increase your chance of developing more severe health diseases and can significantly influence your confidence and quality of life. If you have diabetes, take control of your health by getting treatment and asking your dentist what you can do to keep your smile healthy. If you live in Thornhill, Ontario, contact us at SkyRise Dental immediately!