Diabetes takes a toll on the human body. High blood sugar has a negative impact on different parts of your body, from your eyes and nerves to your kidneys and heart. But diabetes can also have a negative effect on your teeth.
Effects on your Teeth and Mouth
Diabetes can have many adverse effects on your teeth, including:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty tasting
- Higher risk of decay
- Infection susceptibility
Because of these risk factors, it is important that you visit an experienced dentist. Seeing a provider who understands the care you will need is essential to your oral health.
How Diabetes Causes Problems with Oral Health
Now that you know what it does to your teeth, you should know why and how it happens. Diabetes itself causes a decrease in the production of saliva in your mouth, which results in dry mouth. Saliva is what keeps your teeth naturally clean in between brushing and without it, you are at a much higher risk of getting cavities.
As far as gum disease, or periodontal disease goes, it is not just diabetics who are at risk. Everyone has some amount of bacteria living in their mouth at all times and are at risk for developing gum disease. Since diabetes makes it harder for your body to control blood sugar, it makes it harder to prevent infections. The bacteria in your mouth will take advantage of this lessened defence and put your oral health in danger.
Periodontal disease is when bacteria goes in between your teeth and your gums, creating less of a solid foundation for your tooth to sit in. As a result, over time, many periodontal disease sufferers lose teeth that do not have the ability to stay in the gums. Preventing and treating periodontal disease is essential to stopping tooth loss.
What you can do
While it might look like diabetes is tough on your oral health, it is something that can be treatable when you work side-by-side with your dentist. Working with an experienced dentist, like Dr. Kiavash Hossini, a dentist in Port Coquitlam, you can make a plan of attack against any oral health concerns caused by diabetes.
One of the most important things that you can do is make sure that you are keeping up with your routine dental exams and hygiene appointments. Some patients may be recommended to come in more frequently than others in an effort to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. Additionally, good home care will help you in between your dental appointments.
Outside of consulting with your dentist, you should also consult with your healthcare provider about any diabetes concerns that you might have and make sure that any medication that you are taking is in fact keeping your blood sugars under control.
There are other steps that you can take to help keep you healthy, including:
- Brush twice a day, floss once a day
- Quit smoking
- Keep any removable denture or appliance clean daily
- Control your blood sugar levels, using medication as directed and following the recommended diet plan
- Visit the dentist for regular check-ups
It is still important to keep in contact with your medical and dental providers to keep your oral health as good as possible, but you can help the process by taking care of yourself well, including following a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene.
Diabetes might affect the body, but its effect on your oral health can also be negative. Follow up with your dentist to keep you on the path of great oral health.