Diabetes is the most common auto-immune disorder that afflicts Americans. Whether you are a Type I or Type II diabetic, you should be aware that it can have a serious effect on your oral health. You are more predisposed to tooth decay, as well as periodontal disease, and neither of these things are minimal concern.
Today, your Grapevine, TX dentist explains some of the most common concerns if you have this condition, and the best ways to ensure that you keep yourself balanced!
Sugar Builds In The Mouth
Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, poses problems to the body in a wide variety of ways. An aspect of oral health that is often overlooked by diabetic educators is how it increases glucose in the saliva.
When glucose levels in the blood rise, the body pushes out excess sugar through any mechanism it has available to it. The primary avenue for this is through our liquid secretions. Concentrated glucose is expelled through sweat, urine, and saliva.
This means that the body is cultivating an environment that’s pretty close to that of someone who’d been eating a lot of candy or drinking sugary drinks. But unlike with those situations, brushing your teeth will not make the situation improve, as your body will create more saliva.
Dry Mouth Causes Damage
As mentioned earlier, the body is rapidly creating new bodily fluids, in order to load with glucose to send out from the blood. The primary avenue for this is through urination. With this excessive urine output comes inevitable rapid dehydration. This means that you’re more likely to experience dry mouth.
Our saliva is a highly antibacterial fluid, which is full of enzymes to protect our mouths. If their glucose levels are not maintained properly, diabetics see a greatly increased level of infection.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is also much more likely to develop in diabetic patients. This can lead to gum recession, which leaves the roots of the teeth uncovered. Without the gum’s protection, infection can develop within the structure of the tooth itself. It’s important to know that 1 in 5, or 20% of tooth loss is directly connected to diabetes.
Fungal infections, such as thrush, are also found much more often within the mouths of those with diabetes. Since these patients heal at a slower rate, these infections can cause sores which become dangerous to the smile.
How Can I Help?
Like with a healthy patient, a solid oral hygiene regimen is crucial to maintaining a fantastic smile. Twice daily tooth brushing should only be your start, and daily flossing and an oral rinse are very important.
For patients with diabetes, closely monitored blood sugars will make a large difference in the outcomes in oral health. You minimize the damage to the body by keeping your levels similar to those of non-diabetics.
Questions? Give Us A Call!
If you have diabetes, it is very important for you to take care of your smile. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to Share Dentistry in Grapevine, TX today by calling 817-329-6000.