Diabetes is a condition that can affect your whole body and your mouth is no exception to it. Dental care is important for people with diabetes because they have a higher risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugar level. The less controlled blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise.
What are the oral threats for Diabetic patients?
Poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop periodontal diseases. Besides impairing white blood cells, another complication of diabetes is that it causes blood vessels to thicken, blood vessels are responsible for supplying oxygen and nourishing the body tissues, including the mouth.
The thicken blood cells slow the supply of nutrients. When these events take place, the body’s ability to fight infections will be reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar levels may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
Typically symptoms include:
Bleeding gums, swollen gums, recession of gums, bad breath, itchy gums, and loose teeth.
Uncontrolled diabetes can reduce saliva flow, causing in dry mouth. Saliva is the natural defense for the acids attack. Usually, it washes away the acid attack that happens after each meal you take.
Your mouth naturally contains several kinds of bacteria. When starch and sugar in food interacts with these bacteria it forms a sticky layer on the surface of the teeth. The acids in plaque start to wear down the surfaces of the teeth (enamel). If not cleaned this can lead to cavities and gum disease.
- Fungal infections
Diabetics are more prone to develop fungal infections of mouth as the fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.
- Delayed healing
People with uncontrolled diabetes tend to heal wounds slowly after oral surgery because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.
How Your Dentist Can Help to Fight Oral Difficulties
Regular dental checkups are important. Research studies show that treating gum disease can help to balance blood sugar in patients with high sugar levels. Following good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help.
Let your dentist know
- If you are diagnosed with diabetes
- If it is controlled or not
- If you take insulin or not
Your oral hygiene routine should include
- Brushing twice daily
- Floss daily
- Limited sweet intake
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Visiting your dentist regularly.