The American Diabetes Foundation indicates there are nearly 26 million Americans who live with diabetes. As a diabetic, what extra challenges may you face with your oral health? How can you overcome them? Find the answers by reading on.
Diabetes and Oral Health Issues
Gum Disease: If you have diabetes and have difficulty controlling your sugar levels, you’re more likely to suffer from serious gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss than those without the condition. The periodontal disease can in turn complicate matters by making it even harder to control your diabetes.
Dry Mouth: Diabetes can lead to salivary gland dysfunction, resulting in a dry mouth. The inadequate flow of saliva can lead to oral health complications including, bad breath, tooth decay, and soreness.
Thrush: A fungal infection that thrives on the higher glucose levels, and diminished flow of saliva often associated with diabetes. It produces white (or sometimes red) patches in the mouth that can even appear on your tongue. These sores can become ulcers and cause serious discomfort. A painful burning sensation, difficulty swallowing, and a hindered sense of taste are other side-effects of thrush.
Limiting Oral Health Problems
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is still very much a possibility for those with diabetes, but it requires following some important steps, including:
Sugar Levels: It’s vital to maintain your blood glucose level properly, and to keep it under control.
Kick the Habit: It’s been reported that people with diabetes who smoke are up to 20 times more likely to develop periodontal disease and thrush than non-smokers. Stop the tobacco habit immediately.
Daily Routine: Brush your teeth twice a day, and clean between your teeth daily to help keep periodontal disease and tooth decay at bay. An antimicrobial mouth-rinse can also be of assistance.
Get Needed Help: Professional cleanings, dental check-ups, and periodontal screenings are essential in allowing your dentist to help you maintain your oral health. Any problems your mouth encounters can therefore be diagnosed and treated promptly in their early stages. Visit your dentist regularly, and be sure to inform him of your condition, along with any medications that you’re currently taking.
If you have diabetes, you face a unique challenge in keeping your oral health in tip-top shape. Contact Cottonwood Dental Group , your top choice in Highlands Ranch dentistry, today.
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Do you have diabetes? How long have you had it? What tips can you share on how to enjoy life to the full despite having this condition?