How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Treatment?

How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Treatment?

Oct 01, 2022

When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, many things have to change. You may have to change your diet, take timely medication or insulin injections, and make specific lifestyle changes. It’s also worth noting that diabetes can significantly impact your oral health.

People with diabetes have a higher risk of oral problems than people without diabetes. The risk is even higher if you have other underlying conditions or you’re older than 50 years. It’s also worth noting that poor oral health can worsen your diabetes.

Therefore, controlling your diabetes will go a long way in maintaining a healthy mouth. And that, in turn, helps you manage your diabetes better. Contact our dentist for general dentistry in Marshfield, MA.

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Diabetes can affect your oral health in several ways. That said, it’s essential to keep up with your routine dental check-ups and cleanings to ensure that any problems are caught and treated on time. Diabetes can worsen or increase your risk of the following oral conditions:

  • Gingivitis

Gum or periodontal disease is a common oral condition among people with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause an increase in sugars in the blood around the gums, making them more sensitive, red, swollen, sore, or easily bleeding. Similarly, diabetes can increase sugar in your saliva, encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria that irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Regular brushing and flossing, and hydrating well will help prevent gum disease.

  • Tooth decay

Naturally, your mouth contains numerous bacteria and fungi, which are harmless in small amounts. Diabetes increases the number of sugars in the mouth, making your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria mix with the sugars and food leftovers in the mouth to form plaque and tartar.

These deposits release harmful acids into the teeth, eroding the enamel and causing tooth decay and cavities. Good oral hygiene and regular dental assessments can prevent bacterial plaque that causes cavities and gum disease.

  • Dry mouth

Diabetes medication is a key cause of a dry mouth or xerostomia, a lack of enough saliva. Diabetes and old age put you at a higher risk of a dry mouth. Enough saliva is essential to wash away bacteria, acids, and plaque from the mouth. Insufficient saliva can lead to soreness, ulcers, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral thrush.

  • Oral thrush

Diabetes causes a dry mouth and high sugar in the saliva. Like bacteria, fungi thrive well in sugars. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a fungal yeast infection. The infection can be signified by white or red patches on the tongue and cheeks and sometimes turn into open sores. You’re at a higher risk of oral thrush if you wear dentures, take certain medications, and smoke.

  • Burning mouth syndrome

Diabetes can cause dry mouth and oral thrush, leading to a burning mouth syndrome. You may feel like you burned your mouth, numb, or tingling. You may even lose your ability to taste.

  • Slow wound healing

Uncontrolled diabetes can affect the results of oral procedures like surgeries. For instance, diabetes slows blood flow in the body, making it harder for nutrients and oxygen to reach the wound for normal body healing. Diabetes increases the blood sugar levels in the mouth, significantly increasing the risk of infections.

Controlling Your Diabetes

Keeping your diabetes under control is the best way to avoid diabetes dental problems and maintain excellent oral health and successful oral treatments. Below are other tips to prevent oral problems if you have diabetes:

  • Brush your teeth gently and regularly. Ideally, after meals, in the morning, and at night. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once daily to prevent plaque and calculus build-up that causes cavities and gum disease.
  • Schedule regular dental visits and cleanings.
  • Notify your dentist that you have diabetes during dental consultations.
  • Seek prompt treatment for oral problems.
  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Eat healthier and stay hydrated. Limit sugary and starchy foods.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you interested in dental treatment for diabetic patients? Contact Marshfield Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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