Oral Health Problems to be Aware of If You Have Diabetes
Did you know that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting tooth and gum disease than those with regular glucose levels? This is because of their lowered resistance to infections and because they do not heal easily.
Those who have diabetes need to pay extra attention to their oral health on top of controlling their blood glucose levels. If you are diabetic, you should definitely visit your dentist more regularly and ask for advice on how you can keep your gums and teeth really healthy.
The first signs of diabetes can occur in your mouth, so you have to pay attention to your oral health, as that can help with early diagnosis and timely treatment. Some of the most common oral health issues that affect diabetic patients include:
- Periodontal or gum disease
- Gum abscess
- Thrush and other fungal infections
- Mouth ulcers
- Dry/Burning mouth
- Taste Disturbances
PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND DIABETES
Periodontal or gum disease is the result of an infection that destroys the bone that supports your teeth. The bone connects your teeth to the jawbone, allowing you to eat food with ease.
Dental plaque from bacteria and food debris cause gum disease. If plaque is left on the teeth and gums for some time, it hardens and forms a tartar or calculus. These irritate the gums around your teeth, making them red and swollen and sometimes causing them to bleed. As this gum problem worsens, more bone is lost and teeth may fall out when they become too loose.
This oral health problem is more common in diabetic people who have irregular blood glucose levels. To help prevent gum disease, it is important that you take care of your oral health by visiting your dentist often and controlling your blood sugar levels.
TOOTH DECAY AND DIABETES
Because of their increased blood glucose levels, diabetic patients have more glucose in their saliva and noticeably dry mouths. These all contribute to dental plaque buildup on your teeth, which ultimately leads to cavities and tooth decay.
Dental plaque can be removed by brushing your teeth and gums twice daily and using dental floss to clean between your teeth. Doing these good oral habits can help you prevent cavities and gum disease, as well.
THRUSH AND DIABETES
Oral thrush or candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans which are naturally in the mouth. High glucose in saliva, dry mouth, and poor resistance to infection, which are all caused by diabetes, can also contribute to oral thrush.
Oral thrush causes red or white patches on the tissue which result to ulcers and discomfort. Optimal blood glucose levels and good oral hygiene are important in treating oral thrush. Your dentist can treat this with antifungal medications if required.
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