Everyone is susceptible to oral hygiene problems, however, those with diabetes have a higher chance of dealing with oral health complications. Sadly, diabetes affects every part of your body and requires consistent care to prevent complications from getting worse. The most commonly known types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2 and although both cause major health problems, they are fairly different from each other.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is when the body is unable to produce any insulin whereas, Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or is not using the insulin properly.
The lesser-known forms of diabetes are gestational diabetes which affects pregnancy and can result in the child and mother developing diabetes in the future. The other lesser-known diabetes is prediabetes, which involves higher than normal blood sugar levels that are not quite high enough to match type 2 levels.
Oral Health Risks
Gum Disease & Tooth Decay
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that involves a plaque buildup on the gum line which will harden into tartar. Hardened plaque is unable to be removed with simple flossing and brushing, if it reaches this point, it must be removed by a professional dentist right away. Gum disease that goes untreated dramatically on a patient with diabetes will result in potential tooth loss, which can cause your blood sugar levels to increase and therefore make controlling diabetes extremely difficult.
Severe Dry Mouth
Diabetes that goes untreated will decrease the natural flow of saliva and cause dry mouth which can ultimately lead to tooth decay, gum disease or a plaque buildup. Dry mouth can make basic tasks such as eating, drinking or speaking difficult and irritating.
Prevent Oral Health Risks
Being responsible for your health and managing your diabetes properly will minimize these threats to your oral health dramatically. Prevention saves lives and will always pay off in the long run. The ways in which you can manage and maintain your oral health to decrease any risk of infections are to:
- Book regular appointments to see your dentist; a regular check up on the state of your oral health is key to preventing any threats to your teeth and/or gums.
- Have a healthy oral hygiene routine by brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and using mouthwash to finish.
- Avoid smoking tobacco to decrease the risk of gum disease and to keep your teeth healthy, bright and strong.
- Be aware of the symptoms of dry mouth and gum disease from mouth irritation, swelling and bleeding or redness on the gums.
At Appleby Dental, we understand exactly how to help with your every oral health need and will always provide you with the tips and tricks to prevent any risks to your oral health. Our professional dental hygienists will always handle you with the utmost care and provide information on how you can maintain your health while living with diabetes.
Book an appointment with us today to learn more about what we can do for you!