Did you know that diabetes can affect your teeth, gums, and the overall health of your mouth? This shouldn’t sound too surprising, as there are other strong connections between overall wellness and oral health. Patients with diabetes are often concerned with keeping up with their blood sugar levels, but they should also be concerned with their dental regimen. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems and treatments for patients with diabetes.
Common Oral Health Problems
Patients may be more likely to suffer from certain oral health issues such a gum disease or thrush as a result of their diabetes. Gum disease which is commonly observed as inflamed and irritated gums, can become more severe and have a higher likelihood of destroying tissue and bone for these patients. Thrush – a fungal infection that typically includes white or red patches in the mouth that may turn into open sores – can be avoided with regular oral health habits and also treated by medication prescribed by a dentist. For patients with diabetes, another concern is a longer healing process after dental work. Whether it is as simple as a filling or as in-depth as having a tooth removed, you should always let your dentist know if you have diabetes or any other medical condition so that they can tailor your treatment plan accordingly.
Prevention and Treatment
Maintaining healthy dental habits like brushing at least twice a day and flossing will prevent your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. A special mouthwash or toothpaste may be recommended by your dentist to reduce inflammation of the gums, and rinsing with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association notes that recent research suggests that treating gum disease may help improve blood sugar control and overall health, further proving the tie between overall wellness and oral health.
Before your next dental appointment, make sure to let your dentist know if you have diabetes or any other changes in your medical history, as well as any medications that you are taking. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts.