People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease and other dental problems. Diabetes weakens your mouth and body’s germ-fighting powers, and high blood glucose levels can make gum disease worse. As if that wasn’t enough, gum disease may make blood glucose levels harder to control.
The Diabetes Stops Here website put together some FAQs that cover everything people with diabetes need to know when it comes to caring for those pearly whites.
In addition to gum disease, what other oral health problems can develop for people with diabetes?
While gum disease is the most common problem, having diabetes also makes you prone to other mouth problems such as oral infections, thrush (a fungal infection), poor healing and dry mouth.
Will poorly controlled blood glucose levels have any effect on developing gum disease?
Yes. High blood glucose levels make gum disease get worse. Like all infections, gum disease can be a factor in causing blood glucose to rise and make diabetes harder to control.
Should I tell my dentist and hygienist that I have diabetes?
Absolutely! People with diabetes have special needs. Keep your dentist and dental hygienist informed of any changes in your diabetes management and any medication(s) you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood glucose is not in good control.
How do I know if I have serious gum disease?
Often there are no signs of serious gum disease. You may not know you have it until you have serious damage. Regular dental visits are your best weapon. (Call Aesthetic Dentistry by Design for your appointment 719-599-0700.)
What are the signs of gingivitis and/or serious gum disease?
Some of the possible signs of gingivitis and/or serious gum disease include the following. See your dentist if you experience:
- Bleeding and red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums (when you press on the gums)
- Bad breath
- Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other
- Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures or bridges
How can I help prevent dental problems associated with diabetes?
- First and foremost, control your blood glucose levels. Good blood glucose control can also help prevent or relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
- Take good care of your teeth and gums! Develop or continue healthy oral care habits, like brushing and flossing. Research shows that brushing twice a day can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups every six months. (Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Springs 719-599-0700)
- Keep your dentist and hygienist informed of any changes in your diabetes management and any medication you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood glucose is not in good control.
- To control thrush, maintain good control of your diabetes, avoid smoking and, if you wear them, remove and clean dentures daily.
Your Southern Colorado dental care with Diabetes is Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Springs 719-599-0700.