Diabetes and Your Oral Health: Things You Need to Know About

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.3 percent of Americans suffer from diabetes. This disease can affect all parts of your body, including your mouth. If you don’t tame the disease, it impairs white blood cells, your body’s main line of defense against bacterial infections that can crop up in the mouth. The staff at Dentistry of Johns Creek wants you to know that dental care is important, especially to diabetics. This is because they are at higher risk of oral health problems related to uncontrolled blood sugar.

Dental Problems Associated with Diabetes

Diabetics are at high risk of incurring:

1. Thrush

This is a yeast infection that affects warm and moist areas of the body. High sugar levels in the saliva create good conditions for the yeast to grow in the mouth and tongue.

1. Periodontitis (gum inflammation)

This disease causes thickening of blood vessels, a condition that reduces the flow of nutrients to body tissues and waste products away from tissues, especially the mouth. These activities impair the body’s ability to fight infections, which predisposes diabetics to frequent and severe gum disease.

1. Slow oral healing

If uncontrolled, the disease hinders blood flow in the mouth. This reduces the time taken to heal after dental procedures or oral surgery.

1. Dry mouth

Diabetics that don’t have their sugar level under control experience decreased saliva flow in the mouth, which can cause the mouth to become dry. A dry mouth is a fertile ground for infections, ulcers and tooth decay.

So, given these possibilities, how do you take care of your oral health as a diabetic person?

Diabetic Oral Health Management

It is important to apply healthy dental care practices and to be keen on any developments in your oral health if you are diabetic. Thus you need to:

  • Take control of your blood sugar level as much as possible.
  • Develop a daily oral care regimen. This includes brushing and flossing to prevent buildups of plaque. Besides, schedule bi-annual dental screenings at the Dentistry of Johns Creek.
  • Visit your diabetes doctor before you plan for treatment of periodontal disease. Moreover, ask your doctor to update your dentist on your medical condition before dental treatment.
  • Tell your dentist about all the medications you are using. This will help your dentist to prescribe medication that won’t interfere with whatever medications that you are taking.
  • If you have orthodontic appliances such as braces, and a wire or bracket cuts your tongue or mouth, contact us immediately.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Follow our post-treatment instructions keenly because as a diabetic, healing may take longer.

When you’re diabetic, your oral health needs the utmost care. Dr. Shackelford at Dentistry of Johns Creek can help you, so contact us today and let us answer all your questions.

© 2014 Dentistry of Johns Creek. All rights reserved.

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