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 11 to 15 of 289

Why is Dental Hygiene so Important?

The concept of dental hygiene is familiar. We all know exactly how important it is to avoid consuming excess amounts of sugary foods and drinks, to brush our teeth twice daily and use mouthwash and floss regularly to avoid excess build-up of tartar and plaque. Some people learn the hard way through experience, but others take on board the advice and follow it. Despite the advances in dentistry and treatment, tooth decay remains one of the most widespread health problems in the UK with up to an estimated 31% of adults suffering. Therefore, it is clear that the knowledge of what to do doesn’t tell us why we need to do it.

.... read more

Dental hygiene – is it worth it?

Or perhaps more accurately we should be asking – how long do you want to keep your teeth for?

Finances are tricky for most people ordinarily and certainly so in today’s tough economy. However most people continue to respond to the consumer-orientated environment and prioritise their money for the things or activities that they particularly enjoy. Therefore, they are looking to cut back on the things which they don’t deem so important. Sadly, a visit to the hygienist seems to be one of those things which people find easy to cut out. The consequences of this are widely either misunderstood or ignored.

 

.... read more

Your Guide to E-Cigarettes and Oral Health

Since they emerged on the market back in 2007 Electronic cigarettes have slowly risen in popularity. With many smokers making the switch from traditional cigarettes to decrease their harmful side effects, E-cigarettes are branded as the cheaper, socially acceptable and even healthier alternative. So, are E-cigarettes a safer option for the traditional smoker? How exactly do they affect oral health?

 
.... read more

5 Tips to Better Oral Health

Good oral health is about so much more than a pearly white smile. Not only does it help eradicate cavities and reduce plaque, it can benefit our overall health too.  Keep reading for five top tips about everything you need to know about oral care. 
 
 
.... read more

Direct Access Has Been Granted to all Dental Hygienists

Nowadays, the barrier for direct access against all dental hygienist has been removed. This decision had been made final due to the realization of its effect to patient’s safety. In the previous years, each member of the dental team was obliged to work under the supervision of a dentist. It only means that patients should meet the dentist first before they can be treated by other members of the group.

.... read more

Oral Health by Regions

     

Oral Health Knowledge Base

     

Glossary