Diabetes and Oral Health: Life with diabetes

As any diabetic would tell you, living with diabetes requires a few lifestyle changes to better improve you’re overall sense of well-being. These changes include; strict dietary alterations, regular exercise or physical activity, and of course daily dosages of insulin and or other medications. Many experts consider life with diabetes to be something of a balancing act between managing these lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy blood glucose level.

Despite these challenges, once familiar with this routine, many diabetics go on to live happy successful lives with few issues or complications. However in order to achieve this happy balanced life, you must take the time to educate yourself on the some of the pitfalls that have occurred in diabetics in the past. One such concern is diabetes and oral health, and although it may be easy to overlook, maintaining proper oral health is one such issue that no diabetic can afford to ignore.

Diabetes and Oral Health: The Oral Interaction

To put it simply; you’re teeth affect you’re diabetes; and at same time, you’re diabetes affects your teeth. Although this may sound silly, it is important to understand this concept as failure to properly care for one, will almost certainly end up affecting the other.  This interaction between diabetes and oral health often comes in the form of periodontal or gum disease. In many ways gum disease is a major enemy for diabetics everywhere. At Adams Dental Group, Dr. Travis A. Roberts and his professionally trained team work closely with their patients. If you have a health problem, like diabetes, Dr. Roberts will work with you closely to monitor your dental care; as the clash between diabetes and gum disease can certainly lead to disastrous results.

Diabetes and Oral Health: How Diabetes Interacts

If left unchecked or poorly managed, diabetes will result in elevated levels of glucose or sugar to circulate throughout your body, including your mouth. With this heightened level of glucose, your mouth begins to build up an excessive amount bacteria, thus creating the ideal setting for an infection like gum disease to develop.

Diabetes and Oral Health: How Gum Disease Interacts

Gum disease is a progressive bacterial infection within the gums tissue that if neglected, can severely damage or destroy both your gums and teeth. Gum disease starts when bacteria on your teeth harden into tartar that only your dentist can clear away.

Like any serious infection, gum disease can potentially affect the blood glucose level of those afflicted; making them increasingly difficult to control and ultimately cause the diabetes to exponentially progress.

Diabetes is also linked to tooth loss, especially over the age of 50; mainly because people with diabetes are more prone to periodontal disease.

Diabetes and Oral Health: When to see your dentist

As mentioned previously, diabetics have a predominantly higher likelihood of developing periodontal disease (gum disease). Therefore the ability to recognize and identify any of the tell-tail signs and symptoms is extremely important for those at risk.

Symptoms of gum disease may include:

  • Receding or swollen gums
  • Presence of blood while brushing
  • Painful or loose areas around your teeth

If you have been experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should consider contacting Adams Dental Group as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Roberts, as these seemingly minor nuisances may be more serious then they appear.

Diabetes and Oral Health: Daily Dental Care Tips

Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Follow these daily dental care tips and work closely with Dr. Roberts and his team:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
    • Wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing to protect any tooth enamel that’s been softened by acid in the food.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Mouthwash:
    • If you have a dry mouth, try a mouthwash without alcohol
    • Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily
    • Do not sleep in your dentures.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit, as smoking makes these problems worse

Also, avoid sugary snacks, which can cause tooth decay. Instead, reach for crunchy foods like apples, celery, and carrots that will actually clean your teeth as your chew.

Diabetes and Oral Health: Future Prevention and What to Avoid

Obviously one of the best ways for any patient with diabetes to prevent or reduce any possible diabetic problems, both oral and otherwise is to schedule necessary six-month checkups with Dr. Roberts at Adams Dental Group. They should do this in addition to making appointments with their general medical practitioners. However it’s important not to overlook the basics of diabetes and oral health. Simply taking the time to ensure that your blood glucose levels are healthy and your teeth are properly cleaned can make all the difference in the world! When it comes to diabetes, no one likes complications, so keep things simple by practicing routine diabetic and oral care.

Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our East location (913) 621-3113 or at our West location (913) 296-8030 to schedule an appointment.

May 26th, 2017

Posted In: Periodontal | Gum Disease