Dental Management Of Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes

Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, however, it may be even more essential for children who have chronic illnesses such as type 1 diabetes. This autoimmune disorder can affect your child's oral health and raise the risk for dental complications.

Here are some ways a pediatric dentist can manage oral health in children who have type 1 diabetes.

Vigilant Monitoring

The pediatric dentist may recommend more frequent office visits so that potential problems can be identified early on when they are most treatable. Children with type 1 diabetes may be at a higher risk for developing cavities and oral infections such as candidiasis, which is often the result of high levels of glucose in the blood and soft tissues inside the mouth.

Also known as oral yeast infections, candidiasis can cause white patches to develop inside the mouth that bleed when accidentally scraped. The patches can become irritated, making it difficult to eat, drink, and speak. If your child's oral examination reveals the presence of candidiasis, the pediatric dentist may prescribe an antifungal medication.

More Frequent Teeth Cleanings

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that can sometimes lead to the excessive development of plaque and tartar formation. The pediatric dentist understands this and therefore may recommend more frequent checkups and teeth cleanings. Pediatric type 1 diabetes can also raise the risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. If your child has bleeding, sore, or swollen gums, the dentist will closely monitor their condition for gum recession and periodontal pockets.

It is important to note, that while type 1 diabetes can raise the risk for oral problems in children, maintaining good control of blood sugar levels can minimize these risks. In addition to regular teeth cleanings, the pediatric dentist may also recommend a deep cleaning treatment known as scaling and root planing to effectively remove tartar from under your child's gum line, where brushing and flossing usually cannot reach. The pediatric dentist may work with your child's endocrinologist to develop a treatment plan to help maintain optimal oral health. 

If your child has type 1 diabetes, schedule regular visits with their pediatric dentist for checkups and teeth cleanings. When your child's oral health is carefully monitored, problems can be identified and treated while still in their early stages. This not only helps promote healthy teeth and gums but may also have a positive impact on your child's overall general health.