The Dental Care Needs of Diabetic Patients

Feb 5, 2016 @ 11:40 AM — by Byron Wall

An older couple smiling outdoorsDr. Byron W. Wall is one of the leading dentists in the greater Albuquerque area, offering his patients the latest in restorative dentistry treatments as well as state-of-the-art general dental care.

Noting a patient's general health and wellness is an important part of good dentistry. With that in mind, let's consider how diabetes can affect the health of a person's teeth and gums.

The Health Problems Caused by Diabetes

Diabetes can contribute to a number of different health problems and adverse conditions. It's no surprise, for instance, that diabetes can contribute to fatigue and vision problems, but diabetes can also contribute to a host of other serious health matters you may not have expected. For instance, diabetes can cause a number of dental health problems.

Greater Risk of Gum Disease

One of the major dental health issues associated with diabetes is an increased risk/likelihood of developing gum disease. Since diabetics are more prone to infection than people who do not have diabetes, this is a given.

There are three stages of gum disease. From least severe to most severe, they are as follows:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

It's best to undergo treatment for periodontal disease as soon as possible since the symptoms of gum disease get worse as the infection progresses.

Tooth Decay May Progress More Rapidly

Given issues with blood sugar levels, it should come as no surprise that diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from increased risk of tooth decay or accelerated tooth decay. This, coupled with gum disease, can lead to some serious dental health problems that have to be treated properly and as soon as possible.

Dry Mouth and the Dangers It Can Pose

In addition to an increased susceptibility to gum disease and tooth decay, diabetics also have to deal with dry mouth. This can make speaking and eating difficult, and it can also exacerbate periodontal disease and tooth decay in the process. A lack of moisture in the mouth can also lead to serious problems with bad breath.

Risk of Oral Thrush

In addition to a risk of gum disease, diabetics also have to be wary of thrush, which is a type of bacterial infection that can affect the mouth and lips. This condition can be irritating and unsightly.

Oral Hygiene Tips for People with Diabetes

Given the increased risk of dental problems for diabetics, it's of the utmost importance that diabetics brush and floss regularly. While most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a night, diabetics should instead consider brushing and flossing after every meal. This will help remove food particles and plaque buildup and keep the mouth clean all day.

In addition to brushing and flossing, it's important that patients consider drinking water through the day in order to stay hydrated and eating a healthy diet that's low on refined sugars.

Visit Your Dentist for Regular Checkups and Cleanings

The best thing that you can do to have a healthy smile and experience total wellness is to visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups. This will allow your dentist to identify potential problems and treat them as soon as they arise.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Byron W. Wall

To learn more about your dental care options with regard to any sort of dental health issue, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Byron W. Wall and his team will help you achieve optimal dental wellness.

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