For those of with diabetes, oral health needs to be taken into special account. Millions of people around the world are afflicted with diabetes and while the main symptoms are obvious, many diabetics overlook the potential negative health consequences of diabetes when it comes to their oral health.
How Does Diabetes Affect My Oral Health?
Being diabetic can affect your oral health in a variety of different ways. The effect that this condition has on your kidneys, liver, eyes, heart, and nerves can lead to several different ailments such as:
- Delayed Healing
- Gum Disease
- Tooth Decay
- Fungal Infections
- Other infections
- Taste Impairment
- Salivary Gland Dysfunction
The excess blood sugar can linger around in your mouth causing plaque to build up on your teeth more easily than it would for a non-diabetic. This plaque buildup can lead to infection and inflammation if not removed. The lowered resistance to infection makes you that much more susceptible to the infections caused by this excess plaque. It also leaves you vulnerable to fungal infections as the candidiasis bacteria is much more present in the mouths of diabetics.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned oral health problems, you will be able to spot certain warning signs indicating that you may be dealing with an infection or disease brought on by diabetes. If you experience any of the following symptoms you should book a dentist appointment:
- Bleeding gums
- Tender, swollen, or especially red gums
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
- Change in bite
- Change in the way your dentures fit (if you wear them)
Any of these warning signs can be an indicator of a much more serious gum infections or disease stemming from your lowered resistance to bacteria caused by your diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to schedule a dentist appointment right away.
As a diabetic, there is only so much you can do on your own to prevent these negative effects, but the number one thing you can do is brush your teeth. You need to brush twice a day to ensure you are brushing away as much bacteria as possible. You also need to schedule regular dentist appointments with your dentist so they can inspect your mouth with a trained eye to check for any signs of potential infection or gum disease.
If you are a diabetic and want to have a dentist with years of experience care for your mouth, give us a call today. At Apple Valley Dental Group, Dr. Byers and Dr. Sartelle have helped patients with diabetes before, and knows how to address their unique needs.
Maintaining proper oral health with diabetes can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Let us help you help yourself, and maintain a healthy smile for the rest of your life!