Did you know that if you have diabetes it can lead to potential dental problems? When you get high blood sugar, it extends to every part of your body which does include your gums and teeth. You should be aware of the problems that diabetes can cause to your teeth and gums.
What problems to look out for?
If you do suffer from diabetes, here are a few of the ways it can negatively affect your oral health:
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting gum disease because your blood supplies in your gums are greatly reduced. It can get even worse if you have poor dental hygiene. There are two types of forms of gum disease; periodontitis and gingivitis. Although gingivitis is less serious of the two, if it goes untreated it can turn into periodontitis. Your body is also less resistant to infections like gingivitis because the blood supply in your gums is so low. Gingivitis is an inflammation that is caused by plaque and bacteria. If you are seeing any signs of gingivitis – including swollen, red, and bleeding gums – you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible to try to reverse the disease. When you let your gingivitis go untreated for too long, it can lead to the more serious infection periodontitis. Periodontitis affects the bones and tissue that support your teeth. It can cause your gums to bleed, swell up, and can also lead to bad breath that will never go away. Dealing with diabetes and periodontitis can be very difficult; your diabetes will slow your body’s ability to fight bacteria and heal naturally, meaning the infection will take a lot longer to leave. On the other hand, periodontitis will raise your blood sugar, which is what makes your diabetes hard to manage.
Another symptom you will experience in regards to diabetes and oral care is having to deal with dry mouth. Dry mouth is annoying to deal with because it makes you feel thirsty all day, but it can also lead to more crucial dental problems. Diabetes lowers your saliva production, making your teeth more at risk to decay. Having a good amount of saliva can help wash away tartar and plaque from the teeth, meaning when you have a lower amount of saliva, the more tartar and plaque will be left on your teeth.
Proper oral care for patients with diabetes
Having good dental hygiene is very important, especially for this with diabetes. You should be caring for your diabetes and oral health with the same effort. Here are a few things you need to start incorporating into your oral care routine:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. You should also floss at least once per day to help stop plaque from building up and removes food scraps that may cause tooth decay. (Benefits of Brushing)
- Manage your diet by avoiding high sugar foods.
- Talk to your dentist about your diabetes so they can give you a more customized oral care plan that will suit your needs
- Schedule regular dental appointments. It’s recommended that you make at least two dental visits per year, but you can schedule more if you want to keep better track of how your diabetes is affecting your teeth.