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Dental Care Challenges for Diabetics

Craig Goldin DDS Mar 11, 2016

A man outdoors smilingHere at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute, we are proud to offer patients comprehensive dental treatments to address the health of their teeth, gums, and other structures of their mouth. Our goal is to provide the people of Troy with exceptional dental care, which includes procedures to enhance aesthetics as well as restorative dentistry services that help treat the teeth and gums following dental problems.

General wellness can have a major impact on your dental health. With that in mind, let's examine how diabetes can lead to a number of serious dental problems.

Diabetics Face Many Health Issues

Diabetics face a whole host of health issues associated with their condition. In addition to dealing with blood sugar issues, many diabetics also suffer from high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, kidney disease, skin conditions, and even problems with their feet. On top of these issues, diabetes can also lead to a number of dental health concerns.

Increased Risk of Infection and Gum Disease

Diabetics often experience a higher risk of infection, which means that they face an increased risk of gum disease as well. Gum disease refers to the infection of the gum tissue caused by the natural bacteria that occurs in the mouth. There are three levels of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Early symptoms of gum disease include swollen gums, discoloration of the gums, bleeding gums, and irritated gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in gum recession, loose teeth, tooth misalignment, spread of infection, and even tooth loss.

Higher Risk of Oral Thrush

Oral thrush refers to a kind of fungal infection that can affect the inside of the mouth or the lips. This can cause white, unsightly oral lesions that affect the tongue, inner cheeks, the palate, the tonsils, and even the back of the throat.

Greater Risk of Tooth Decay and Cavities

In addition to increased risk of gum disease, the risk of tooth decay and cavities also increases due to diabetes. This means that cavities may be more likely due to blood sugar levels and saliva composition, requiring fillings and other restorations to address.

Dry Mouth and Diabetes

Making matters worse, diabetes can result in more instances of dry mouth. This may seem like a minor issue, simply making speaking and eating more difficult. In fact, dry mouth can actually make gum disease and tooth decay worse since oral bacteria thrives when the mouth is dry and saliva isn't present to help remineralize the teeth.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

The best way for diabetic patients to have healthy smiles that look great is to visit their dentist regularly for routine exams and checkups. This will allow minor problems to be treated as soon as they are detected, which prevents them from becoming more serious issues. Dentists will also be able to offer advice on how to prevent problems from occurring in the future, which is an important facet of preventative dental care.

Tips for Proper Oral Hygiene

The best way to ensure your have a smile that's healthy and beautiful is to abide by these simple tips for proper oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally you should brush after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally you should floss after every meal)
  • Drink water to keep hydrated through the day and avoid dry mouth
  • Eat a healthy diet low on sugary beverages and snacks
  • Avoid the use of tobacco products, which can exacerbate numerous dental problems

Contact the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute

To learn more about treating dental problems of various kinds, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute will work with you to help you achieve the best possible dental health.

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