Diabetes and dental health are connected, people with diabetes tend to have a higher risk for gum problems, periodontal disease, dry mouth and dental decay. Because of these risk factors if you have diabetes you need to see the dentist regularly to help treat and prevent dental disease and maintain the health of your mouth.
Your oral health and body are interconnected. Diabetes affects your dental health and vice versa, but how?
When you have diabetes, the body’s general ability to fight against diseases is reduced, chances of infection increase, and healing is impaired or delayed.
If you have diabetes, you may be more prone to gum disease, fungal infections like candidiasis or oral thrush, and other dental problems, such as dry mouth and dental decay.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease and often has accompanying systemic ailments like hypertension (high blood pressure), anaemia, heart disease and dental issues that may be more severe.
People with diabetes and poor oral hygiene get multiple cavities and get cavities more frequently, cavities that progress rapidly and cause extensive damage to the teeth.
Gum infection along with bone loss of the bone that holds the teeth into the jaws is also common in diabetics.
The inflammation from gum disease makes it harder to control and maintain blood sugars, making diabetes worse, which in turn makes the gum disease worse. Periodontal gum disease will eventually lead to tooth loss if timely dental care is not received.
Saliva flow is reduced in diabetics. Saliva is a natural cleanser that washes out the bacterial layer. Xerostomia or dry mouth is a common symptom in diabetics due to reduced secretion of saliva and can cause burning sensations in their mouths.
Dry mouth increases the risk of dental decay as well as gum problems and accelerates any pre-existing dental disease.
Diabetes often means patients are unsuitable for dental treatments like implants because of poor immune and healing responses.
The body’s general health and oral health are related to each other. If you have diabetes and a poor periodontal/gum condition, the risk of heart disease and other health risks increases, diabetes can seriously affect your dental health as well as overall health.
Firstly, you should always tell your dentist if you have diabetes. The protocol for the management of dental conditions changes if you have diabetes.
Often we will see patients where infections are harder to treat, gum disease does not respond the way we would anticipate and without understanding or knowing about the underlying medical factors treatment outcomes become compromised, which means your dental health gets worse.
Your blood sugar levels can be controlled by taking the prescribed insulin dose or the medicines regularly as every step you take towards the management of diabetes benefits your oral health as well.
If you have diabetes, be proactive. Always come in for regular check-ups twice a year as well as hygiene visits for proper scaling and debridement to help get rid of the bacterial load, which may need to be as frequent as every three months to control and manage the gum health.
Often with diabetes, we advise you to come in for a cleaning once every three months as, within the three months, you may develop a large amount of dental plaque which leads to constant and worsening gum inflammation and disease.
If you want a healthy mouth when you have diabetes, make sure that you follow a good oral care regimen strictly.
Brush your teeth at least twice and floss once a day. Use a tongue cleaner to scrape off the debris from your tongue. Use a natural mouthwash, oral probiotics to control mouth bacteria, and use products to help improve salivary flow if you have a dry mouth.
Avoid sugary and sticky foods. Make healthy choices in terms of diet. High intake of sugar will affect your dental health, as well as make your blood glucose levels high.
At Evolve Dental Kenmore Dentist, we take a holistic approach to your dental care. We use the latest instruments and materials for the diagnosis of dental diseases.
We believe in monitoring your medical history and carrying out thorough dental examinations, where not only do we support you if you have diabetes but often pick up the warning signs of it and may refer you to a doctor or for blood tests if necessary.
If you are diabetic, please let us know so that we can tailor your dental care to suit your specific needs.
Our aim is to give top-grade care to all our patients. If you have further questions or want to schedule your appointment, please call us at 07 3720 1811. We will do our best to make sure that nothing stops you from smiling, not even diabetes!
At Evolve Dental Healing we strive to give our patients a healthier smile. Dr Rachel Hall always stresses the importance of regular check-ups and preventive treatments.