Oral Health & Diabetes

People who suffer from diabetes also have increased odds of developing oral health issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease also acts as a caution flag for diabetes. To reduce your chance of developing oral health issues, it is essential that you control your blood sugar and exercise sound oral health practices. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, address any specialized attention you might require with both your primary health care physician and your dentist. 

What Are Common Oral Health Problems Related to Diabetes? Oral Health & Diabetes

Diabetes will make it difficult for your body to stave off infections. This could potentially increase your chances of developing some of the following oral health problems:

  • Gum Disease (Periodontitis): Gum disease develops when tartar forms on the gum line and helps infections develop deep within your gums. It may result in the loss of bone, tissue, and even teeth. It also magnifies your chances of developing additional pressing health matters, such as a stroke or a heart attack. 
  • Oral Thrush: Oral thrush could contribute to the development of sore milky white spots on the inside of your mouth or little white fissures at the corners of your mouth. 
  • Dry Mouth: Dry mouth may be the root cause of pain, infections, mouth ulcers, and cavities. Dry mouth can be induced by taking prescription medicines intended to treat depression, high blood pressure, and various other health issues.

What Are Warning Signs of Oral Health Problems Related to Diabetes?

  • Tender, red, or inflamed gums or distinct discomfort in your mouth 
  • Bleeding while you are eating, brushing, or flossing
  • Separating or loose teeth 
  • Ulcers in your mouth 
  • Sour taste in your mouth, lack of taste, or bad breath 
  • White spots inside your mouth 
  • A dry and/or sticky sensation inside your mouth 

How Are Oral Health Problems Diagnosed? 

Oral wellness issues can be diagnosed after your tongue, gums, teeth, and mouth are inspected. X-rays of your teeth and mouth will also assist in diagnosing any problems. If you are experiencing any additional problems associated with your diabetes, speak with your primary doctor.

How Are These Problems Treated? 

  • Gum disease is remedied by eliminating bacteria and tartar from your gums and teeth through deep cleaning
  • You might be given a prescription for specific medicines like prescription-strength mouthwash, or oral antibiotics
  • If your gum disease has been around long enough to be considered severe, oral surgery might be necessary
  • Your prescriptions might be switched if they are the cause of your dry mouth
  • Your primary doctor will work with you to establish an exercise routine and dietary habits that will help improve your blood sugar level and diabetes

Your teeth have to be properly maintained if you want to keep your smile both beautiful and functional. The preventative dentistry treatments offered by Curtis L. Chan, DDS in his Del Mar office will help you establish the optimal oral health care routine you need to make sure your teeth remain healthy and strong. For more information on preventative dentistry and your oral health, contact our San Diego office at (858) 481-9090 to schedule an appointment.

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