Diabetes and high blood sugar go hand in hand with oral health problems such as cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis, but what can be done to prevent these problems rather than react to them after the fact?
Most people don’t realize the impact diabetes and dentistry can have on each other so today I’d like to talk about how dentistry for diabetics can help control the condition. Whether you’re looking to find a dentist in Chicago
or in another part of the country, it’s important to look for one who knows how diabetes and dentistry go hand in hand.
Why Dentistry For Diabetics Is Important?
Dentistry for diabetics, or anyone else who suffers from high blood sugar levels, is vitally important. The sugars and starches found in all types of foods and drinks negatively interact with the natural bacteria in your mouth, which leads to plaque.
People with high blood sugar levels have a larger amount of sugar and starches in their mouth, which increases the amount of plaque. If the plaque isn’t adequately removed, cavities and eventually gingivitis will occur. If your gums are swollen and bleeding, you are likely suffering from gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis.
Periodonitis is especially serious for diabetics, because your teeth can actually loosen and fall out of your mouth. This often leads to an infection in the mouth and since diabetics have a lowered immune system, it can be difficult to resist and fight. The infection can also raise the blood sugar level, making the periodonitis/diabetes cycle a difficult one to break and dentistry for diabetics especially important.
What Can You Do At Home?
So, now that you know how important proper dentistry for diabetics is, what can you do at home?
Home care is incredibly important in maintaining proper oral health. Everyone knows the basics and they are no different for diabetes and dentistry.
Make sure you brush at least twice a day, more often if you’ve eaten something starchy or sugary. An electric toothbrush may be able to help if you’re having problems brushing hard to reach places or just need a little extra scrubbing. Because plaque can accumulate between teeth, flossing is also extremely important. If you’re having problems reaching certain areas in your mouth, ask us for help the next time you’re in. We may have special tips and techniques to keep your mouth extra clean!
What Can Our Chicago Dental Office Do?
Some of the smiling faces at Chicago's Big Smile Dental Office
Home care is a good start, but it can’t be your only tool of dentistry for diabetics. Diabetes and dentistry need to go hand in hand to ensure a healthy mouth. Schedule a checkup and cleaning appointment every six months with a cosmetic dentist and let us know if you’ve noticed red, swollen or bleeding gums since these can be early signs of gingivitis.
Also, if we’ve recommended dental surgery, let your doctor know. He or she may want to adjust any medications you’re taking or even prescribe an antibiotic to prevent an infection after surgery.
Dentistry for diabetics is an important tool in keeping your mouth healthy and your diabetes under control. Whether you’ve had the condition for years or are newly diagnosed, it’s vital that we treat diabetes and dentistry together.