Diabetes is a condition that affects the entire body, especially your mouth and teeth. While most people will need to see a dentist once every year, a person suffering from diabetes may have to visit a dental health professional more. But taking care of your teeth and gums as a diabetes patient does not end at the dental office. You still have to do your own caring at home to prevent the likelihood of developing serious oral health issues.
In this post, we’ll talk about the various tips handed out by professionals and established authorities from reliable websites.
Let’s start out with the things you should watch out for if you have diabetes. This information comes from WebMD.com:
- Dry mouth, which can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
- Inflammation in your gums.
- Thrush. People with diabetes who often take antibiotics to fight infections are more likely to get this fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes. It can give your mouth and tongue a burning feeling.
All those signs above must be taken seriously. As someone who has diabetes, you do have to understand that you’re not like everyone else. You need to do a little more than what needs to be done when it comes to dental care.
Next, talk to a dentist about your condition. A dental professional should be one of the first people you have to seek advice with regards to your dental health in connection to your condition. Here’s a couple of tips from Colgate.com in a post called “Diabetes Dental Tips.”
Tell your dentist you have diabetes and ask him or her to show you how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
People with diabetes get gum disease more often than people who do not have diabetes. Gum infections can make it hard to control blood sugar. Once a gum infection starts, it can take a long time to heal. If the infection is severe, teeth can loosen or even fall out. Good blood sugar control can prevent gum problems.
Keeping your own teeth is important for healthy eating. Natural teeth help you chew foods better and easier than you can with dentures. Because infections can make gums sore and uneven, dentures may not fit right. Be sure to tell your dentist if your dentures hurt.
Have a dental checkup at least every six months.
Take good care of your teeth and gums. At least twice a day, brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Use dental floss every day to clean between the teeth.
If your gums bleed while you are brushing your teeth or eating, or a bad taste stays in your mouth, go to the dentist. Tell your dentist about any other changes you see, such as white patches, in your mouth.
You’ll see that all those tips mentioned above are things you probably might have heard of already. The reason why we’re posting them here is because you have to be constantly be reminded of them since you tend to forget the importance of doing those “mundane” stuff.
Finally, make it a point that your condition is controlled and if possible, treated. Yes, diabetes is an incurable disease but many people have succeeded in combatting it through a healthy lifestyle. In an article titled “Diabetes and Your Smile” by Laura Martin from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, she emphasized the symptoms related to your dental health once diabetes is left untreated.
The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.
If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here’s how:
You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Dry mouth is also caused by certain medications.)
Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.
Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
You may have problems tasting food.
You may experience delayed wound healing.
You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.
Learn more about this article here.
Always be reminded that the best way to avoid getting dental health problems is to control your blood glucose level. Of course, you have to combine that by taking good care of your teeth and gums. There really is no point in going to the dentist as frequent as possible if you don’t commit yourself to lowering and controlling your blood sugar.