Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes is a world-wide problem with the prevalence rising dramatically. diabetes affects millions of people each year. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may already know that the disease can affect your eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart, as well as other parts of your body. Diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process of wounds. The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:
salivary gland disease
lichen planus and lichenoid reactions (inflammatory skin
infection and delayed healing
It’s important to keep your medical records up to date every time you come to Aquarius dental and let Dr Oonchi or Hygienist know the following:
-if you have been diagnosed with diabetes recently ;
-if the disease is under control;
-if there has been any other change in your medical history;
-the names of all prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.
DIET AND TOOTH DECAY
When diabetes is not controlled properly, high glucose levels in saliva may help bacteria grow. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning twice a day between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner helps remove decay-causing plaque. Plaque that is not removed can eventually harden into calculus, or tartar. When tartar accumulate above the gum line, it becomes more difficult to thoroughly brush and clean between teeth. This can create conditions that lead to chronic inflammation and infection in the mouth.
Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, the gums are among the tissues likely to be affected. Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that
hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease often is associated to the control of diabetes. For example, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than do people who have good control of their diabetes.
Long-term control of blood sugar levels is considered to be of critical importance in preventing complications associated with diabetes. Research evidence has suggested that treating gum disease in people with diabetes may help in lowering blood sugar levels. The evidence suggested that there may be small but significant improvement in blood sugar control from treating pre-existing gum disease in people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
See your dentist immediately if you notice any of the following:
-gums that bleed easily;
-red, swollen or tender gums;
-gums that have pulled away from the teeth;
-pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed;
-persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth;
-permanent teeth that are wobbly or separating;
-any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite;
-any change in the fit of partial dentures.
Oral candidiasis, a fungal infection in the mouth, appears to occur more frequently among people with diabetes, Including those who have dentures. If you smoke, have high blood glucose levels or often are required to take antibiotics, you are more likely to have a problem with fungal infections in
your mouth. Diminished salivary flow and an increase in salivary glucose levels create an attractive situation for fungal infections such as thrush. Thrush produces white (or sometimes red) patches in the mouth that may be sore or may become ulcers. It may attack the tongue, causing a painful, burning sensation. It also can cause difficulty in swallowing and compromise your ability to taste.
Your dentist in Aquarius Dental may prescribe antifungal medications to treat this condition. Good oral hygiene is critical.
CARING FOR YOUR TEETH
Preventive oral health care, including professional cleanings at the dental office, is important if you are to control the progression of periodontal disease and other oral health problems.
Regular dental checkups and periodontal screenings are crucial for evaluating overall dental health and for treating dental problems in their initial stages. Your dentist may advise more frequent evaluations and preventive procedures, such as teeth cleaning, to preserve good oral health. Watch for signs and symptoms of oral disease and contact the dental office immediately when a problem arises. Practice good oral hygiene at home, follow your physician’s instructions regarding diet and medications, and schedule regular dental checkups to maintain a healthy smile.
References for diabetes and oral health :
1) ADA Division of Communications
2) The Journal of the American Dental Association
3) Treatment of periodontal disease for glycaemic control in people with diabetes
TC Simpson, I Needleman, SH Wild, DR Moles, EJ Mills