Diabetes hits the entire body, including the mouth. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the teeth and gums. Controlling blood glucose levels is also very important. Over time, high blood glucose levels can put you at risk for oral health problems.
Tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems
Whether you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, it is essential to check your blood glucose levels. The higher the blood glucose level, the greater the threat of developing the next disease.
- Tooth cavities- Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When the starch and sugar in foods and drinks interact with these bacteria, mucous membranes are called dental plaques to form in the teeth. The acid in the plaque erodes the surface of the tooth (enamel and dentin). It can lead to gum disease.
- Early gum disease (gingivitis)-Diabetes reduces the ability to resist bacteria. If you brush your teeth and floss irregularly to remove plaque, the plaque will harden under the gum line and become tartar (calculus). The more prolonged the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the greater the gums’ stimulating effect called the gums around the gums. Over time, the gums will swell and bleed. It is called gingivitis.
- Advanced gum disease (periodontitis)-If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more severe infection called periodontitis, damaging the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. Eventually, periodontitis pulls the gums and jaw away from the teeth, which in turn loosens the teeth, and in some cases, causes them to fall out. In diabetic patients, periodontitis is often more severe because diabetes reduces the ability to fight infections and slows healing. Infectious diseases such as periodontitis can also raise blood levels, making diabetes more difficult to manage. Regular teeth brushing helps prevent and treat periodontitis and improve glycemic control.
- Thrush-People with diabetes can be prone to thrush, a fungal infection caused by Candida albicans. Thrush signs include painful white or red patches in the mouth. By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can avoid thrush.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia)-Some people with diabetes are deficient in saliva, and a condition called dry mouth. Without the saliva to moisten your mouth and soak your teeth, you can suffer from tooth rot, gum disease, and thrush.
How Your Dentist Can Help You Fight Diabetes
Regular dental visits are important. Studies have shown that gum disease treatment can help improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients by slowing the progression of the disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene and receiving professional deep cleaning from the dentist can reduce the level of HbA1c.
Your Diabetes Dental Health Action Plan
Teamwork with self-care and professional-care dentists can help maintain a healthy smile and slow the progression of diabetes. For better health, you can take five steps related to oral health:
- Check blood glucose levels. You can help yourself by following the instructions, using diabetes medications, exercising, and changing your diet. Reasonable glycemic control also helps the body resist bacterial and fungal infections of the mouth and relieve the thirst caused by diabetes.
- Avoid smoking.
- If you wear any denture, clean it each day.
- See your dentist for regular checkups.
- Make assured to brush two times a day with a soft brush.
Managing diabetes is a lifelong promise, and that includes proper dental care. Your determinations will be rewarded with a lifespan of healthy teeth and gums. If you are looking for dental clinics in Kandy, call at +94 81 314 94 73 for more information.
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