Diabetes and Oral Health: What You Need to Know
Diabetes and oral health
present a unique catch-22 situation. While having diabetes increases the likelihood of developing gum disease, not taking proper care of your teeth and gums can cause diabetes. Gum disease can cause a host of symptoms ranging from bleeding and swollen gums to bone and tooth loss.
Other Dental Problems Caused by Diabetes
Diabetes can cause several other oral health problems in addition to gum disease. The most common ones include thrush and dry mouth. Thrush is caused by an infection from a fungus in the mouth. Having dry mouth from diabetes can also lead to other issues, including cavities, infections, ulcers and general mouth soreness. Burning mouth syndrome is also common. This occurs when you experience severe pain and burning in your mouth even though you haven’t consumed hot food or beverages.
Complications from Oral Surgery Due to Diabetes
When you have diabetes, it can make it more challenging for you to heal from oral surgery. It’s common for the disease to slow healing and produce infections that people without diabetes don’t usually develop. If you need dental surgery and it’s not an emergency, be sure to postpone it if you don’t have good control of your blood sugar. Even if your blood sugar is under good control, your oral surgeon needs to know about your diabetes to minimize any potential complications.
Be sure to take your regular medications and eat a normal meal on the day of your oral surgery appointment. This is the best way to ensure that your blood sugar remains in the normal range during the procedure. You will also need to work with your dentist to decide what is safe for you to eat after your oral surgery. It’s typical to follow a soft foods diet for at least a few days, so make sure that you select foods that won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar.
Oral Health Prevention Strategies When You Have Diabetes
The key to managing both diabetes and gum disease is to keep your blood glucose levels under good control. You need to work with both your dentist and physician to do this. Your doctor may prescribe medication or insulin injections to manage blood sugar levels while your dentist will provide you with preventive care. You should plan to make lifestyle changes as well, such as increasing exercise and losing weight.
It’s essential that you keep your dentist up-to-date about your diabetes and other health concerns. If you haven’t already, you will need to give up smoking. It not only improves your oral health and diabetes but kicking the habit also reduces the likelihood of developing other serious conditions like heart disease and lung cancer.
Schedule Your Next Preventive Care Appointment
Your bi-annual cleaning and exam is especially important when you have diabetes. Please contact us at Premier Dental Care if you haven’t had a check-up in more than six months.