Diabetic Oral Health Care
Diabetics who do not manage their condition well have greater possibility of tooth trouble and gum disease than non-diabetics. The reason for this is diabetics have a lower resistance to any kind of infection and a it is difficult for these infections to heal. That is why, if you are a diabetic, you have to give special attention to dental care and oral health, besides controlling the levels of your blood sugar. Discuss regularly with your dentist on how you can make sure your gums and teeth are in good condition.
Initial signs indicating diabetes may happen in your mouth. So, giving special care to oral health can give an earlier diagnosis so that treatment can be started before any further damage can be experienced.
Usual oral health problems
The most usual oral health problems suffered by diabetics are:
- Taste disturbances.
- Mouth ulcers.
- Lichen planus (a skin condition with an itchy rash).
- Fungal infections, including thrush.
- Tooth decay.
- Gum abscesses.
- Periodontal (gum) disease.
- Low saliva levels (A dry mouth with a burning sensation).
Periodontal (gum) disease
When an infection damages the bone that holds up your teeth, it causes periodontal disease. This damaged bone is the one which holds your teeth and is connected to your jawbone, allowing you to bite properly. Bacteria as well as food particles called dental plaque is necessary for gum disease to occur.
When not removed from the teeth and gums, plaque gradually hardens to become tartar which is sometimes called calculus. The plaque together with the calculus causes the gums holding the teeth to become irritated, inflamed, swollen and this is followed by bleeding. As this gum disease worsens, even more bone becomes damaged, teeth slowly loosen and drop off or have to be pulled out.
Gum disease in diabetics is more serious and occur more frequently than in non-diabetics. This is due to the fact that their resistance to infection is lower and their ability to heal is poor.
It is necessary to give attention to your oral health as well as manage your blood sugar levels in order to avoid gum disease. It is a two-way street solution. Getting treatment for gum disease assist in achieving better control of blood sugar for diabetics, and when the blood sugar control is good, these diabetics respond well to gum disease treatment.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
If you see the following signs as well as symptoms indicating gum disease, call your dentist immediately.
- Tender, red, swollen, bleeding gums.
- A constant discharge of pus from the gums.
- Either a bad taste or foul breath.
- Have gaps between your teeth.
- Gums which loosen and extend outwards away from the teeth.
- Loose teeth - this can disallow you to bite properly or, if you have dentures, cause them to not fit well.
If levels of blood glucose are not well controlled, diabetics can have a mouth which is dry and their saliva contains more sugar. Such conditions are ideal for dental plaque to increase on teeth, resulting in the decaying of teeth culminating in cavities.
Fortunately, plaque can be easily brushed off as you clean your teeth as well as your gums two times each day with fluoride toothpaste on a toothbrush. You can also use dental floss, also called interdental cleaners, to keep areas between your teeth clean. Caring for your teeth is a good preventive measure against cavities and gum disease.
Oral thrush or candidiasis is an infection of yeast fungus when there is too much yeast, or Candida albicans, in the mouth. Actually, Candida albicans is found in the mouth of many people but it is harmless when the amount is small. However, when conditions brought by diabetes, like the presence of too much glucose in saliva, low immunity to infection as well as a dry mouth caused by too little saliva, growth of yeast quickens and oral thrush occurs.
Small white or red areas of skin appear in the mouth of people suffering from oral thrush. This causes the patient to have ulcers and feel uncomfortable. To treat oral thrush successfully, good oral hygiene and control of levels of blood sugar are essential. This problem can be treated with your dentist’s prescription of antifungal medicines.
Regular Visits To The Dentist Can Give Warning Signs for Diabetes -Video Guide
Looking after your teeth and gums
As a diabetic, you ought to follow the advices given below to avoid problems arising from teeth and gums.
- Follow strictly your doctor’s instructions concerning diet as well as medications to have levels of blood sugar as near normal as can be.
- Completely clean both teeth and gums two times each day by brushing with toothpaste which contains fluoride
- Interdental cleaners or dental floss should be used every day to remove plaque and particles between your teeth.
- Regularly see your dentist to seek advice on the right home care, taking early action to stop the problem and the usual preventive methods to make sure your teeth and gums will be healthy. Your dentist will definitely want to be told what your levels of blood sugar are as well as the medicines you are using.
- Prevent a dry mouth by drinking lots of water and having a sugarless chewing gum to get the mouth to receive more saliva.
- Stop smoking - seek your doctor’s help and support.
- Diabetics face greater possibility of tooth and gum problems.
- Give attention to your oral health and keep your levels of blood sugar under control to avoid gum disease.
- Regularly seek your dentist’s advice on teeth and gums health.
- Stop smoking.