Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a national crisis causing a myriad of health problems. However, many don’t realise how diabetes can put you’re oral health at risk too. Having uncontrolled diabetes impairs the ability to fight bacteria in the mouth. High blood sugar encourages bacteria which results in gum disease. Diabetes can make you more susceptible to fillings and fungal infections and make it harder to fight off infections.

Those already diagnosed with diabetes experiencing dental problems may have symptoms of;

·      Red, sore or swollen gums

·      Loose teeth

·      Halitosis (bad breath)

·      An irregular bite

All of these dental problems can be caused or irritated by diabetes so it’s important to maintain habits to ensure blood sugar stays low. Below are some oral health care tips specific to diabetes sufferers.

Controlling diabetes

Well-controlled, monitored diabetes contributes to a healthy mouth. If diabetes goes undiagnosed or blood sugar is poorly controlled, the risk for dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss and fungal infection increases dramatically. Therefore, maintaining a healthy mouth can help manage blood sugar.

Regular Checkups

Individuals with diabetes are prone to oral infections so regular dental appointments become even more important to attend at least twice a year. Regular checkups and professional cleanings keep a mouth healthy. Let your dentist know you have diabetes and what medicines you take so as they can advise you the most appropriate ways to care for your teeth and gums at home. They may even make a referral to a periodontist -- a dentist who specialises in gum disease -- if gum problems persist or seem to get worse.

Plaque control

Having high blood sugar can often make gum disease worse. Plaque caused by food, saliva and bacteria forms on the teeth after eating, releasing acids that attack the enamel of the teeth. Untreated plague then turns to tartar which builds under gum lines and becomes incredibly difficult to remove with flossing. The longer the tartar stays on the teeth, the more harmful it becomes, hence why diabetes suffers need to be even more stringent with their dental hygiene routine.

General Steps to Take

·       Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss once a day.

·       Use an antibacterial mouth rinse twice a day to help curb bacteria that can cause plaque build-up on teeth and          gums.

·       Check your mouth for inflammation or signs of bleeding gums. If you notice either, let your dentist know as              soon as possible.

·       Have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months, or even every 3 or 4 months. Your dentist may suggest          stepping up the cleaning schedule if you tend to build up plaque or tartar quickly.

·       Make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes. Your dentist should have  the names of all prescription            and over-the-counter drugs you take to control your condition.


Related articles.

Displaying 6 to 10 of 289

Filling the Gaps with Implants

Missing teeth affect both your appearance and confidence. Worse still, any gaps left by missing teeth can cause great strain on the rest of the mouth and jaw. Having a gap can also affect the bite, because the teeth surrounding the space can lean and alter the way in which the top and bottom set bite together. Decay and gum disease are often prevalent if missing teeth are not filled because oral care begins to suffer.

.... read more

Early Childhood Tooth Decay

During early childhood, many changes occur in the mouth of a young child. The mouth supports important bodily functions from birth and throughout all ages, including; breathing, digestion, communication, and biological/physical protection. A healthy mouth for a young child is a cornerstone for life-long health and well-being.

.... read more

How to get Whiter Teeth

Over time and with age teeth begin to lose their naturally white appearance. Enamel becomes thinner and the inner layer begins to turn darker. Diet, age and poor dental hygiene are all culprits for staining teeth, and can make you feel incredibly self conscious. Fortunately there are a wide variety of solutions available from natural home remedies to chemically enhanced treatments, all promising to restore that pearly white smile. 

.... read more

The Benefits of Braces

Braces are a popular choice of orthodontics used to straighten crooked teeth, align the jaw and improve the aesthetics of smiles and faces. Alongside improving the physical appearance of the teeth, they can dramatically improve the health of the mouth, leading to improved oral health and in the long term, less health conditions. 

.... read more

Bad Breath Explained

According to a recent study ninety per cent of people between the ages of 16 and 40 feel that having bad breath is “the worst social mistake one can make”. It’s a pretty damning statistic. So what is it that causes this embarrassing condition - and what can you do about it?

.... read more

Oral Health by Regions

     

Oral Health Knowledge Base

     

Glossary