Diabetes is a condition that can affect your entire body including your mouth. Dental care is especially vital for diabetics since they face a higher likelihood of experiencing problems related to oral health because of poorly managed blood sugars. Uncontrolled diabetes weakens your white blood cells, which help in fighting against infections that could occur in your mouth. Therefore, you must observe your oral health to enable early treatment and diagnosis.
Dental problems affecting Diabetics
The mouth naturally comprises of numerous kinds of bacteria. When sugars and starches interact with the bacteria, plaque develops on the teeth. As a result, the plaque acids attack your enamel, resulting in cavities. Elevated levels of blood sugar lead to a higher supply of starches and sugars.
Gum inflammation (periodontitis and gingivitis)
Diabetes causes your blood vessels to thicken, slowing down the flow of waste products and nutrients from body tissues such as your mouth. When this happens, your body's capacity to fight infections decreases. Since periodontitis is a bacterial infection, uncontrolled diabetes may lead to recurrent and threatening gum disease.
Uncontrolled diabetes can reduce saliva flow, leading to a dry mouth. This can further contribute to soreness, infections, ulcers, and tooth decay.
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to slow recovery following oral surgery or dental procedures since the disease can affect the flow of blood to the site of treatment.
Diabetics who take antibiotics frequently to fight various infections are particularly vulnerable to a fungal infection of the tongue and mouth. This fungus thrives on elevated sugar levels in your saliva if your diabetes is uncontrolled.
Dental Care in Diabetics
If you are diabetic, you can prevent gum and tooth problems by:
Brushing your teeth twice daily
You should brush your teeth at night and in the morning. Ideally, you should also brush after snacks and meals. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. It is also important to avoid harsh or vigorous scrubbing, which can cause gum irritation.
This helps eliminate plaque between the teeth and under the gum line. In case manipulating the floss proves challenging, a floss holder would be beneficial.
Be committed in diabetes management
This involves monitoring your levels of blood sugar and following your physician's instructions. Controlled blood sugar levels decreases the likelihood of developing gingivitis among other dental issues.
Smoking enhances the likelihood of developing severe diabetic complications such as gum disease. Therefore, you should seek assistance in quitting the habit.