Taking special care of your oral health if you have diabetes
What is Diabetes?
Certain illnesses or conditions can have an effect on your teeth and on the overall health of your mouth, diabetes being one of them. Diabetes is a medical condition affecting an estimated 382 million people throughout the world.
The illness causes high blood sugar levels, and generally requires on-going life-long treatment. The level of glucose in your blood is too high, because your body does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin and, over time, increased levels of blood glucose can put you at risk of oral health problems.
Diabetes can affect your whole body, including your mouth, so you’ll need to take special care of your teeth and gums. The important thing is to be aware of your condition, and of the effects that it can have on your body, so that any problems can be avoided and treated promptly should they occur.
At Cygnet Dental Practice we believe that maintaining good oral health, and practicing good oral hygiene at all times can often help to prevent unnecessary and costly treatment. Our team of dentists and hygienists will advise you on the best ways to maintain good oral health and also undertake any treatments where needed.
What effect can Diabetes have on the health of the mouth?
Tooth decay – tooth decay occurs when starch and sugar from food come into contact with the bacteria found naturally inside your mouth. This then produces a sticky substance called plaque that adheres to your teeth. If not removed, the acids from the plaque can attack the hard outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, leading to cavities. Thoroughly removing the plaque by brushing is the best way to ensure that your teeth stay cavity free.
Gum disease – gum disease develops when plaque is not removed from around the teeth and gum line. It can effect anyone, regardless of whether they suffer from diabetes. However because diabetes affects the body’s ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities. Left untreated gum disease can easily advance to periodontal disease; this is a disease where the gums become inflamed and bleed. Eventually the inner layer of the gum and bone will pull away from the teeth and form pockets where bacteria can collect.
Thrush – thrush is a yeast infection which is more common in people with diabetes, as high sugar levels lead to better conditions for the yeast to grow. If you notice white patches in the mouth this could be a sign of thrush. Cracking of the skin in the corner of the lips is also a sign.
Will diabetes affect my dental treatment?
Diabetes won’t necessarily have an effect on the treatment you receive, but be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes, and what medicines you take. Let them know if your blood sugar level is off-track, and if you take insulin, tell them when you took your most recent dose. It is advisable that you arrange your treatment around your diabetes regime.
Your dentist will check your medical history and it is important that full details are given including any medication that you are on. If you are a diabetic and live in the Wickford area, and would like to have your oral health checked, then please call us on 01268 733078 to arrange an appointment with one of our team of dental care professionals.