Diabetes and Your Mouth
Did you know that diabetes can cause a variety of oral health problems? These problems include dry mouth, gingivitis, delayed or problems healing, and thrush. To help you better understand these health issues associated with diabetes, we will discuss common oral health problems and how you can ensure your mouth stays healthy when living with diabetes.
Dry Mouth and Diabetes
Dry mouth is a common problem due to high blood sugar levels or the medications commonly taken to keep the effects of diabetes at bay. Reduced saliva production can not only lead to changes in your sense of taste and smell, but it can lead to a host of problems, including an increased risk of cavities and gum disease.
It is essential to stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks to help combat the effects of a dry mouth. Keeping your blood sugar levels at the recommended healthy range will help maintain normal saliva production. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva glands and increase output.
Gingivitis and Diabetes
High blood sugar levels can affect the blood vessels and cause inflammation of the gums. The blood vessels will thicken, which reduces healthy blood flow to the gums, increasing the risk for gingivitis.
To combat gingivitis, you must brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily. Additionally, it is vital that you see your dentist for regular checkups. They will be able to notice the first signs of gum disease and can help combat the effects before they intensify.
Poor Healing and Diabetes
High blood sugar levels can interfere with the body's ability to fight infection or heal itself. This issue can delay or hinder healing following a dental procedure, such as extractions or periodontal surgery. If you have diabetes, it is important to follow your dentist's instructions for caring for your teeth after a procedure. This often includes a rigorous oral care routine; in some cases, antibiotics will be prescribed to help prevent infection.
Thrush and Diabetes
Thrush is a fungal infection that causes small lesions in your mouth and can cause redness, burning or soreness that can hinder your ability to eat or drink. This occurs because high blood sugar levels can create an environment conducive to fungus growth in your mouth.
Your dentist will be able to prescribe an antifungal medication to treat thrush. Additionally, to help prevent thrush from affecting your mouth, you should maintain good oral hygiene and avoid sugary foods and drinks.
The Importance of Oral Health
The oral health problems associated with diabetes should not be taken lightly or ignored. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and good oral hygiene is essential. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, using mouthwash once a day, and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist, can help reduce the risk of these problems from occurring in the future.
If you have diabetes, it is important to speak to your dentist about caring for your mouth. At ProHEALTH Dental, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. (855) 750-5011