Are There Any Dental Problems Related to Diabetes?

Diabetes can affect your dental health (and the health of the whole body, for that matter), but it does not have to. Some diabetics live full lives that would be the envy of someone with no diabetes.

But given even the smallest opportunity, diabetes will start to cause dental health issues. So to keep diabetes in check, you have to study its behavior, anticipate its moves and deny it the chance to attack your mouth.

How diabetes affects dental health

1. Uncontrolled diabetes, gum disease, and periodontitis

When blood glucose levels spike, so does the glucose level in saliva and the bacteria in the mouth love it. They feed on the glucose and begin to multiply and infect the gum. If left untreated, the gum infection will progress to become gingivitis or in extreme cases, periodontal disease.

To protect the mouth from gum disease, a person with diabetes should keep their blood glucose at the recommended levels. This is quickly done by sticking to a healthy diet and taking medication as per the doctor's orders.

2. Diabetes medication and dental problems

Uncontrolled diabetes weakens the immune system, forcing the patient to use medicines that may cause side effects like dry mouth.

Saliva cleans food particles, sugar and bacteria from the mouth so when the mouth fails to produce enough saliva, bacteria or yeast thrive and attack the mouth, teeth, and gums. A person dealing dry mouth should keep the mouth hydrated by drinking water regularly. If oral thrush or bacterial infection happens, consult the doctor for treatment.

3. Diabetes slows the healing of the soft tissues of the mouth

The body heals slowly when diabetes is poorly managed. So when the inner mouth, the gum or the tongue get injured, the wound can become infected and turn into a sore.

To prevent diseases associated with infected wounds, a person with diabetes should always check the mouth for signs of injury or inflammation. In case of infection, the doctor or dentist will usually prescribe an antiseptic mouth rinse to kill bacteria and treat the sores or cuts in the mouth by drying them out.

Gurgling salt water once or twice is a home remedy that also treats injuries and sores in the mouth.

How to protect the mouth from diabetes complications

  • Keep a strict oral hygiene routine
  • Maintain the recommended blood sugar level
  • Eat healthily and avoid foods that are bad for the teeth
  • Make regular dental appointments and keep them
  • Get a prescription for antiseptic mouth rinse in case of infection
  • Keep the mouth and the body hydrated

Prevention is the best cure

Diabetes can be managed with a little effort and discipline. When your diabetes is under control, it will not cause any trouble in the mouth, the heart or anywhere else. If anything, it will force you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Dental problems can be an early warning system that alerts you when your diabetes starts to get out of hand. This means regular visits to the dentist are a great way to keep tabs on both your oral health and your diabetes.

When was the last time you saw a dentist? Schedule an appointment with one of ours today.

Do you have more questions? Contact us today!

Looking for dental care near the 33308 area? Call Smiles By Julia at (954) 281-1231.

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