How Does Diabetes Affect the Mouth and Teeth?

January 3, 2022by dentalzone_aDmin0
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Diabetes decreases blood supply to an area, increasing the risk of developing oral health problems like cavities and gum infection. Although age increases the risk of developing dental problems, diabetes further increases the risk.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure; managing your blood sugar level and reducing the risk of oral problems is in your hands. How can you prevent oral problems associated with diabetes? What are the symptoms to watch out for?
Read on to find answers

Prevent Problems

You can prevent oral problems by taking dental care measures including;

  • Keeping your blood sugar level in check
  • Observing proper oral hygiene, including brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and flossing once a day
  • Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Cleaning your dentures daily if you use them. Also, avoid sleeping in them
  • Waiting for at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
  • Quit smoking
  • Visit a dentist in Surrey, BC, for routine checkups every six months or more frequently, depending on your dentist’s recommendation

Symptoms to Watch for

Controlling your diabetes can protect your teeth and gums. You should call your dentist in Surrey, BC, if you notice symptoms, including bleeding, sore gums, persistent bad breath, and frequent infections. It would be best if you also watched out for oral health problems, including;

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of dental health disease, and it is prevalent in people with diabetes. Bacteria feast on sugar and turn it into acid, which can damage the tooth. Therefore, diabetes gives bacteria more sugar to feast on in your saliva. Furthermore, the bacteria combine with leftover food, forming plaque, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

You can prevent gingivitis by regularly brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis turns to periodontitis when left untreated. Periodontitis is much more severe, and it can cause the erosion of the teeth bone, its tissues, and even tooth loss. Although dental care like regular brushing and flossing can reduce bacteria and plaque buildup, it cannot reverse periodontitis. You’ll need gum surgery to save your teeth and gums.

Infections

Like bacteria, fungi also love sugar. People with diabetes often have a fungal yeast infection, also known as thrush. White or red patches on the tongue and inside the cheeks result from thrush and can sometimes turn into open sores. In addition, if you wear dentures, take antibiotics, or smoke, you are more likely to develop thrush.

Dry Mouth

Saliva has enzymes that attack bacteria growth. A decrease in saliva production causes dry mouth. Old age and diabetes are causes of decreased saliva production, leaving bacteria to grow in the mouth. Furthermore, dry mouth can lead to sores, mouth ulcers, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Slow Healing of Wounds

Diabetes and old age can cause slow healing of wounds and infections. Therefore, if you have any issue with your gums or teeth, it will take longer to heal, and the conditions may worsen.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome makes you feel like you scaled your mouth with coffee. Also, a numb or tingling feeling in the mouth is a sign of burning mouth syndrome. Dry mouth, thrush, and certain medications can cause the syndrome, making you lose some ability to taste.
Although burning mouth syndrome is not harmful, making up food taste with sugar can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Conclusion

Diabetes can affect your dental health in many ways. It can increase your risk of gingivitis, periodontitis, and bacterial and fungal infections. Although brushing, flossing, and observing proper oral hygiene can reduce the risk of oral health problems, controlling your blood sugar is also paramount.

If you notice symptoms like bleeding, sore gums, and frequent infections, you should contact your dentist at Dental Zone immediately.

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