Diabetes and Oral Care: What you should Know

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates the level of blood sugar).

Sometimes, it could be because the insulin produced cannot be properly used by the body.  

Health implications:

Increased blood sugars have an adverse effect on the heart, blood vessels, eyes, mouth, kidneys and nerves. Oral care is very important in diabetes, as the condition leads to an increased risk of infection and reduction in wound healing.  

HEALTH ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH DIABETES

There is a connection between diabetes and the development of gum disease.  The higher the blood sugar levels, the more likely one can come down with plaque build-up on your teeth. With an increase in blood sugar, there is an increase in oral bacteria which can lead to; plaque, cavities on the teeth, periodontal diseases, dry mouth and fungal infections.

Dry mouth can be as a result of uncontrolled diabetes or from the use of diabetic drugs. It’s important to know that drugs used to reverse gum diseases often increase the chances of developing oral candidiasis. 

ORAL CARE

Regular and proper home care is important. It is important to brush at least 2 times a day with a medium textured toothbrush and fluoride containing paste with the use of dental floss at least twice a day. 

TALK TO YOUR DENTIST

In handling oral care in diabetes, you must;

  1. Be open with your dentist about your condition.
  2. Having up-to-date checks with your medical doctor is also important.
  3. Endeavour to try and maintain blood sugar levels by regular intake of medicine.

Always ask your dentist about how diabetes will affect your mouth and treatment.

Remember working together with your dentist will help you have the healthiest mouth possible.

 

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