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Diabetes and Oral Care: How Diabetics Manage Gum Disease

by Mehr Jan · November 10, 2020

Diabetes, a chronic health concern where the body can’t break food into energy, affects other body parts too. That’s why it is considered the most troublesome health issue that is on the rise.
Among the associative health conditions, one major concern are the problems it causes in the mouth.
People with diabetes have higher chances of having gum disease. For those who don’t have their blood sugar in control, they are more likely to even develop plaque.
Now, Let’s look into what plaque is and how it affects your dental health

1.

The Touch of Plaque

This is bacteria which is sticky in form and gets stuck on teeth. If it is not removed properly, it can lead to complicated infections and tooth decay.
Aside from gum, teeth issues can also arise for those who are having poor dental health. Poor dental health leads to the development of dental complications.
Let’s talk about the kind of dental concerns a diabetic person should keep an eye out for:
what is the touch of plaque

Why Diabetics Are More Prone to Oral Complications?

Your diabetologist would suggest that you look after your teeth and gums; your overall oral care is highly essential while living with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Equally important, is that your dentist must know of your complete diabetic history. Whether you have been recently diagnosed or hold a long track record of the disease, your dental treatment should be updated according to your diabetic record.
According to medical researchers, as diabetics have poor blood glucose levels they are more likely to develop dental issues than those who are not subjected to diabetes.
It is important to know that keeping your blood sugar in the normal range reduces the risk of developing major oral health concerns.
If you have diabetes, it is best to visit the dentist every six months. This helps in keeping a proper check on any infection that can occur. Diagnosing any medical complications sooner will help to combat the problem before it actually sets in.

2.

What Dental Problems You Will Likely Face?

It’s already understood that people who have diabetes have irregular glucose levels. And because they have a lower resistance to infection, they have lower healing capabilities.

Among the various issues that arise with optimum oral care, the most common ones you need to know are:

dental problems you can face

Gum Diseases in Diabetes

High blood glucose level is directly associated with higher risks of oral health concerns. Among them gum disease is the most common.
Did you know gum disease is considered as the 6th most common disease in the world?
There are various stages of gum diseases out there which are named according to their severity. Among them are:

3.

Gingivitis

This is the initial stage of a gum disease. It is caused by poor hygiene and plaque development on the teeth. The gums look swollen and are red. They easily bleed during brushing of teeth.
However good thing is the state of gingivitis is reversible and by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly, the gums can be kept in good condition.
what you need  to know about Gingivitis

Periodontitis (Mild)

In the condition in which gingivitis is not treated in its early stages, it can lead to the development of mild periodontitis.

This condition is more common in people who have a long history of diabetes in the family and their sugar levels are not uncontrollable. It also leads to further damage of the gums and bones and it is important to visit the dentist to maintain control.

Periodontitis (Severe)

The last and most severe condition is known as periodontitis –severe. This is when gingivitis has advanced to the loss of high tissue and bone loss around the teeth.

Aside from gum diseases, diabetes can also cause tooth decay.

4.

Diabetes and tooth decay

When you have increased glucose levels, diabetics’ tend to have more of dry mouths. They tend to drink more water.
This leads to the build of dental plaque around the teeth. The plaque leads to higher tooth decay and more of cavities.
But there’s good news.
This plaque can be easily removed by cleaning the teeth and gums at least twice in a day. Make use of fluoride toothpaste as well as dental floss.
Flossing is underrated. It can do lots for your oral hygiene. It helps to protect against cavities and problems with dental hygiene.

keep your oral hygiene in order

Diabetes and oral fungal infections

Have you ever heard of ‘oral thrush’?
It is also known as oral candidiasis and is basically yeast infection that happens in the mouth. It arises due to high glucose in your saliva which leads to a dry mouth and low resistance to fighting the infection.
In such a case applying an antifungal medication will help to clear the yeast.

5.

Symptoms of oral thrush

While in its early stages it doesn’t show any symptoms, when the infection gets worse it will:
* appear as white or yellow bumps on your, tongue, tonsils, gums, or lips
*you will have slight bleeding if you scrap the bumps
*there will be soreness in the mouth
*you will also get a burning sensation
*a cotton-like sensation in your mouth
*there is dry or cracked skin at the corners of your mouth
*have difficulty swallowing
*there may be a loss of taste or nasty taste in the mouth

Now that we have looked in detail how diabetes and oral care are so closely interlinked. We will now talk about adapting preventive habits to ensure you don’t face extreme oral health problems.

looking out for oral thrush

Oral Care in Diabetes- Prevention Tactics

Considering how people with diabetes are more prone to their oral health bring easily deteriorated, you can follow certain oral hygiene practices to reduce the impact of oral health problems.
Let’s check out these simple lifestyle upgrades you can adapt today:
*Keep your sugar levels monitored,
*Record and show your glucose readings to the dentist at every visit
*If you faced certain low sugar or spiked sugar episodes, be sure to mention the same to your dentist
*Record how frequently they happen to ensure your insulin dosage is maintained
*If you think you might have periodontitis, make sure to have a consultation or arrange a conversation between your diabetes expert and your dentist
* Make sure your oral surgery is conducted with the prescription of pre-surgical antibiotics
* It is important that you make your dentist aware of any medications you might be taking. As they need to know your medical history before administering any dental medication
*The first and foremost important thing is to have your blood sugar in control before any non-emergency dental procedure is taken up. Talk it up with your dentist to ensure you are in optimum position for a procedure
*Since diabetics have a higher resistance to recovery, make sure you have a word with your dentist on what post-treatment efforts and action plan should be adapted
*Brush regularly- it is important that you brush for at least three minutes after every meal.
*Make an appointment to have your teeth looked at by a dentist at least once a year

So,
If you are working towards the above mentioned preventive measures and there are still certain issues which you can’t seem to have in control. Seeing a dentist write away is the best thing to do.

6.

When to Book an Appointment:

You can alert your dentist when one or more of the below things happen:

  • Bleeding or sore gums
  • You have gums which you notice are pulling away from the teeth
  • There is uncontrollable bad breath
  • Loose or separating adult teeth for a long time now
  • When you bite or drink something cold, you have a lingering pain in the mouth

As a bonus, because dental concerns and diabetes isn’t a combination anyone wants, we are giving you some additional oral hygiene tips:

disease diabetes concept text writing

Effective Oral Hygiene Tips to Adapt:

Dental Check-Ups

We can’t stress it enough. Diabetics should have regular dental checkups. This helps in finding any underlying problems which can then be solved earlier.

Maintain Good Blood Sugar

It’s not as hard to adapt. Maintaining good blood sugar control is the key to keeping things in a balanced position.

Adapting a Balanced Diet

When it comes to talking about maintaining your glucose levels, it is important to add and emphasize more of healthy items into your diet. Avoiding sugary items will keep your sugar and your oral health in good condition.

Plaque control

It isn’t a fancy way of brushing- by flossing once every day, you are keeping your teeth away from sticky bacteria. Floss for plaque control.

Denture Maintenance

For those who wear dentures, make sure to remove them and clean them significantly when eating. Your dentures are directly associated to keeping your oral health in optimal position.

Quit Smoking

We just can’t be any clearer than that. It’s a habit which you can quit. It is harming you in a number of ways. Talk to your doctor on ways in which you can adapt a healthier lifestyle.

So to Conclude…

Your health links all of your body parts together. People who have diabetes must manage their blood glucose levels in the best way to avoid any tooth and gum problems.
Your oral health comes with a balanced blood glucose level.
This post highlighted the warning signs, how your oral health is impacted by diabetes and ways in which you can prevent drastic conditions.
For more information and insights, feel free to call us at our clinic and get a consultation on how you can have better oral hygiene when you manage your diabetes better.

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