You might not consider how a disease like diabetes can affect your mouth, but it can. Diabetes should be thought of as not just a single disorder but one that can create issues with nearly every part of your body, including your dental health. It's vital that you understand how your disease can create some additional challenges with the health of your gums and teeth. Read on to find out more.
If you are like most, you tend to think about the appearance of your teeth and not necessarily the health of your gums. Your gums must be healthy, though, if your teeth are to remain stable. Periodontal diseases can wreak havoc on both. As infections enter the gum from a break in the gum or the teeth, the jawbone supporting your gums and teeth will deteriorate. As that breaks down, the teeth will become unstable. They become loose and jiggle around. That leads to more problems like cavities, teeth shifting, and abscesses. Sufferers of periodontal disease will notice pain, swelling, sensitivity, cavities, broken teeth, and tooth loss. Unfortunately, a dental abscess can be life-threatening if not caught early and treated with antibiotics immediately.
Gum Health and Diabetes
For type 2 diabetes sufferers, periodontal disease may affect your blood glucose levels, making it difficult to maintain safe numbers. A condition often associated with diabetes is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not just annoying — this chronic condition can further damage teeth by preventing your body's natural mouthwash, saliva, from doing its job to wash away food particles from teeth. Diabetes patients prescribed certain medications may notice more dry mouth and other dental issues as a side effect of the drugs they need to control their blood sugar.
Tips On Coping With Diabetes and Gum Health
- Inform your dentist about your diabetes when you have your next check-up.
- Ask your doctor how your blood glucose levels will affect your need for certain dental procedures. High glucose levels could mean putting off certain dental procedures.
- Just as sugar and carbohydrates affect your blood glucose, they also affect your dental health. Following your doctor's guidelines for a good diet will also improve your dental health.
- Don't neglect brushing and flossing after meals and especially before bedtime.
- Make it a point not to miss your regular check-ups so that problems with your gums can be spotted and addressed early.
To find out more, speak to your dentist about your oral health and your diabetes.