Welcome back to Dentist Camberwell’s part 2; how Diabetes can affect my oral health.
Periodontal disease and Diabetes
Periodontal disease is infections of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is often linked to the control of diabetes because this chronic condition reduces the body’s resistance to infection; the gums are among the tissues likely to be affected. It is possible to have periodontal disease and not have all of the warning signs, which is why it is vital to have regular preventive dental appointments.
Due to the lowered resistance and a longer healing process, periodontal diseases often appear more frequently and more severely among persons with diabetes. That’s why good maintenance of blood sugar levels, a well-balanced diet that meets your needs, good oral care at home, regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important.
Dry Mouth and Diabetes
Saliva helps wash away food particles and keeps the mouth moist. Without adequate saliva, bacteria continue to colonize. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common complaint among diabetic dental patients. Constant dryness irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, often making them inflamed and painful. This condition greatly increases the risk of tooth decay and periodontal diseases.
Your dentist may recommend a saliva substitute that can be used for relief from dry mouth discomfort. Your dentist may also recommend rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse or having a topical application of fluoride at home and in the dental office to help prevent rampant tooth decay. Using sugarless gum, sugarless mints, taking frequent sips of water or using melting ice chips may help alleviate a dry mouth. Restricting intake of caffeine and alcohol also can help.
Other Oral Health conditions linked with Diabetes
Oral candidiasis [thrush], a fungal infection in the mouth, appears to occur more frequently among persons with diabetes including those who wear dentures. Your dentist may prescribe antifungal medications to treat this condition.
Lichen planus is a skin disorder that produces lesions in the mouth. A more severe type of Lichen planus involves painful ulcers that erode surface tissue. Although there is no permanent cure, your dentist may prescribe a topical anesthetic or other medication to reduce and relieve the condition.
Some diabetics have reported that their taste for sweets is diminished, although the taste impairment is usually not severe. Altered taste sensations, barely perceptible to most diabetic patients, may influence their food choices in favor of sweet tasting foods with highly refined carbohydrate content. This may worsen the diabetic patient’s dental health and overall health and increases the risk of tooth decay.
At Hartwell Dentistry we provide our patients with superior treatment, making sure we use the best option for our patients specific circumstance.