Diabetes affects millions of people from all social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. Diabetes affects 34.2 million people in the United States alone, accounting for 10.5 percent of the population. An estimated 26.8 million are diagnosed, with another 7.3 million having diabetes but not yet being diagnosed.
Diabetics must keep track of many aspects of their daily lives in order to stay healthy, including glucose levels, diet, activity, and so on. But did you know that diabetics are more likely to develop periodontal diseases? As a result, diabatic patients must maintain a good daily oral health routine and visit the dentist twice a year. Continue reading to find out more about diabetes and oral health.
How Diabetes Affects the Mouth.
Diabetes patients, particularly type 2 diabetics, are at a higher risk of developing dental caries and periodontal diseases. Periodontal disease is the most advanced form of gum disease. A person suffering from chronic periodontal disease may experience tissue and bone loss that supports the teeth. As a result, teeth loosen and begin to move freely. Periodontal disease can cause problems such as chewing pain, bad breath, and, most seriously, tooth loss. Periodontal disease can also make it difficult to control your blood glucose levels.
Certain diabetic medications can also put a patient at risk for dental caries. Diabetes is also linked to other factors such as xerostomia and poor home care. Diabetes patients may need to postpone dental treatment in some cases to ensure their blood glucose levels are stable enough for the procedure, but it’s always best to consult with a doctor first to ensure your safety.
Dental Tips for Those with Diabetes
If you have diabetes, there are several things you can do to keep your mouth healthy. Here are a few ideas, but you should also follow the advice of a dental professional to develop a routine that works best for your specific situation.
- Sugary foods and drinks can contribute to dental caries and periodontal disease, so limit your sugar intake.
- Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for routine exams, and be sure to share your complete medical history with them so they can determine the best care plan for you.
- Inform your provider if your dentures aren’t fitting like they used to; this could be a sign of diabetes-related periodontal disease.
- If you smoke, try to quit because it can aggravate periodontal disease.
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