Saturday, April 25, 2015

Diabetes and Your Oral Health

4 Signs You May Have A Problem:
Diabetes puts you at risk for dental problems.  It impairs the ability to fight bacteria in your mouth. Having high blood sugar encourages bacteria to grow & contributes to periodontal (gum) disease. You may have periodontal disease if you have:
  •  Gingiva (gums) that are red, sore, bleeding or swollen, or that pulls away from your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  •  An irregular bite or dentures that do not fit
                                                          Control Diabetes to Keep Your Smile Your Smile
    Well controlled diabetes contributes to a healthy mouth.  If you have poorly controlled or high blood sugar, your risk increases to dry mouth, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss and fungal infections like thrush. Since infections can also make blood sugar rise, your diabetes may become even harder to control. Keeping your mouth healthy can help you manage your blood sugar.
                                                       See Your Dentist Regularly

    People with diabetes are prone to oral infections.  You should get dental checkups at least twice a year.  Let your dentist know you have diabetes and what medicines you take.  Regular checkups and professional cleanings can help keep your mouth healthy.
                                                        Keep Plaque at Bay
    Sticky plaque-food, saliva, and bacteria-starts to form on your teeth after you eat, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel.  Untreated plaque turns to calculus (tartar), which builds under the gingiva (gums) & is hard to remove with flossing.  The longer it stays on your teeth, the more harmful it is. Bacteria in plaque causes inflammation and leads to periodontal (gum) disease.  Having high blood sugar often makes periodontal (gum) disease worse.
                                                 Take Care of your Dentures

    Loose-fitting or poorly maintained dentures can lead to gum irritation, sores, & infections. It's important to talk to your dentist about the changes in the fit of your dentures.  When you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of fungal infections like thrush and mouth sores that are difficult to heal.  Poorly maintained dentures can also contribute to thrush.  It's important to remove & clean dentures daily to help reduce your risk of infection.  (it is also recommended that you do not sleep with your dentures in to allow your tissues to breath at night).
                                                         Toss The Tobacco
    Tobacco products-including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipes-are bad for anyone's oral cavity. If you have diabetes and smoke, you are increasing your risk of periodontal (gum) disease.  Tobacco can damage the gum tissue and may cause receding of your gingiva (gums).  It can also speed up bone and tissue loss, leading to lost teeth (Periodontal Disease)
                                                         Prepare for Oral Surgery
    Well controlled blood sugar reduces the risk of infections and speeds up healing. Tell your dentist and surgeon you have diabetes beforehand.
                                                         4 Steps to Protect Your Health
    The same steps that ensure a healthy mouth also help you manage diabetes
    • Eat a Healthy diet
    • Don't smoke
    • Keep up with your diabetes medications
    • See your dentist regularly to reduce the risk to developing a serious problem
                                                                Know the Warning Signs

    Regular dental checkups are important because your dentist can spot periodontal (gum) disease even when you do not have any pain or symptoms.  You should examine your teeth and gums yourself for early signs of trouble.  Infections can move fast. If you notice redness, swelling. bleeding. dry mouth, pain, or any other symptoms that concern you, call your dentist right away.

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