Diabetes and Oral Health

Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes can have surprising effects on a person’s oral health. This unpreventable metabolic disorder interferes with the body’s ability to produce insulin, causing the blood’s glucose levels to spike. If you have it, you know the symptoms: constant hunger or thirst, fatigue, the frequent need to urinate, and so on. But Type 1 Diabetes can also mess with your mouth.

If you have diabetes and poorly managed blood glucose, you might be susceptible to:

  1. A dry mouth, as the result of decreased saliva and an increase in saliva sugar (xerostomia)
  2. Fungal infections
  3. Ulcers
  4. Tooth decay
  5. Tooth loss
  6. Poor circulation to the teeth, causing aches and pains
  7. Difficulty wearing dentures
  8. More severe gum disease from an early age
  9. Thickening of small blood vessels in the gums
  10. Certain periodontal diseases
  11. Burning sensation in the tongue

Solutions

The good news is general dental appointments are the same for those with diabetes and those without it. However, dental surgery is another matter. Diabetes can cause infection, slow the healing process, and cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate wildly. But there are measures to help the procedure go more smoothly. These include:

  1. Reminding the dentist you’re diabetic, so preparations can be made
  2. Eating before the appointment
  3. Taking your normal medication beforehand but only if your physician and dentist are on the same page about it
  4. Planning for your eating needs following the surgery
  5. Making sure your blood levels are under control to avoid complications

Diabetes never has to stop you from having a healthy, gleaming smile. Please call us at if you or someone close to you is affected by it so we can help you however we can.


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