What To Do About Oral Health Problems And Diabetes

Diabetes has been linked to several oral health problems. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent and treat these issues.

Tooth Decay

  • The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can also increase the risk of tooth decay. This is because sugars also feed plaque bacteria which release acids that damage teeth.
  • Besides regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, keep a good diet. This not only maintains blood sugar levels, but keeps excess sugars from feeding the bacteria in your mouth.

Gum Disease

  • Diabetes weakens the body’s resistance to infections and slows the healing process. This increases the risk of plaque irritating and infecting the gums in what is gingivitis that later can become periodontal disease. This problem also becomes a vicious cycle because the infections of gum disease make it harder to control blood sugar levels.
  • To prevent gum disease, brush and floss your teeth while also taking the steps to control your blood sugar. Those who do have to have to undergo periodontal treatment find that they will have improved blood sugar control afterwards.

Dry Mouth

  • High blood sugar levels and some diabetes medications can cause your mouth to dry. This is not only bad because it causes your breath to smell, but because there isn’t as much saliva available to wash away food particles that encourage the plaque growth that ruins teeth.
  • Your dentist may suggest using a saliva substitute. Also, drinking plenty of water and chewing on sugar-free gum can help.

Fungal Infection

  • Thrush and other fungal infections can occur because of high blood sugar levels and a weakened immune system. These infections appear as white or red patches in the mouth and are often painful. Difficulty swallowing may also be a symptom of fungal infections.
  • Once again, controlling blood sugar levels helps prevent these fungal patches from developing. If you already have a fungal infection, see your dentist for treatment.

Infection And Slow Healing

  • There is always a risk of infection if you are going to have your wisdom teeth removed, a tooth extracted, or any other form of oral surgery. But infections are more likely to occur if you are diabetic, and a slower healing process can cause additional problems.
  • Let your dentist know that you are diabetic. Have them give you time before the surgery to get your blood sugar under control, and keep it that way after the procedure is completed. This can help you heal at a normal speed. Your dentist may also give you antibiotics that fight infections.

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