How Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?
All parts of the body are vulnerable to the effects of diabetes. Your heart, your kidneys, and even your mouth can show symptoms of this disease. Diabetics are more sensitive to oral health problems such as dry mouth and gingivitis.
Oral Health Problems Caused by Diabetes
Diabetics are likely to have high blood sugar which weakens white blood cells. As a result, your body’s defense against bad bacteria declines. This, in turn, will cause oral health problems such as:
- Dry mouth – uncontrolled blood sugar levels may decrease the flow of saliva, making your mouth dry.
- Gingivitis and periodontitis – people with diabetes have blood vessels that are thicker than normal. This makes the flow of nutrients slower. The body then loses its ability to ward off infections, leading to frequent and severe gum diseases.
- Thrush – frequent intake of antibiotics make a diabetic prone to oral fungal infections. This is aggravated by high glucose levels in the saliva where fungus thrives.
How to Care for Your Teeth if You Have Diabetes
So what do you if you have diabetes? You should pay attention to your oral health. Find a good Las Vegas dentist who can monitor unusual changes in your mouth. Aside from that, you can follow these oral hygiene practices:
- Visit the dentist twice a year. Choose someone especially trained like Dr. Bill Gussow of Vegas Smiles.
- Floss your teeth once or twice a day.
- Brush your teeth with soft-bristled toothbrush after eating.
- Clean your dentures daily.
- Quit smoking.
To prevent oral problems from worsening, do the following:
- Keep blood sugar control at the top of your priorities. Keep your dentist in the know of your blood sugar levels.
- Consult your endocrinologist before a dental treatment. If possible get both doctors to communicate with each other.
- Make a list of your medicines and their corresponding dosages. Bring it to your dentist so he can prescribe medicines that are less likely to counteract with your existing prescriptions.
- Postpone treatment of non-emergency dental conditions if your blood sugar is not normal.
- Diabetes slows healing time. Follow post-treatment directions to the dot to prevent complications.
There are unfounded beliefs linked to diabetes and oral health. You need be informed about them so you don’t unconsciously do anything that can aggravate existing problems.
Diabetics are More Likely to Develop Oral Health Issues
Experts have differing views on this one. Some believe that high blood sugar levels aid in the growth of bacteria. Bacteria build up leads to dental caries and gum problems. Others, on the other hand, believe that since diabetics take in less sugar, they are more protected from cavities and periodontal diseases.
Diabetics Lose Teeth Sooner and More Often
This is likely to happen only to those who do not control their glucose levels. These people are more prone to gingivitis which can damage the teeth if left untreated. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that infections heal slower in diabetics.
Diabetics Have a Higher Risk of Contracting Infection After Surgery
Post-surgery problems will not occur if you observe proper dental hygiene and follow instructions from your dentist.
Diabetes have undesirable effects on your oral health. You need to practice good oral hygiene habits to keep dental problems at bay. Consult a Las Vegas dentist for more oral health are for diabetics.