Thursday 19 November 2020

Diabetis and Oral Health


You might be wondering what the connection between oral health and diabetes is. This disease not only affects the eyes, nerves,  kidneys and  heart  but also your mouth. Uncontrolled diabetes significantly increases the risk of periodontal disease and affects the hard tissues. People suffering from diabetes have much fragile oral health than people who are not suffering from this disease which is why they should take a special care and pay higher attention. Most common issues diabetics face are:
-candidiasis (fungal infection in the mouth cavity)
- periodontitis (degenerative disease of the supporting tissue of teeth)
- tooth loss due to late treatment of periodontitis
- dry mouth
- caries
- tongue infection (glossitis)
- bad breath (fetor ex ore)
- wounds that cannot heal

The sugar level is not only increased in the blood but also in the saliva which leads to imbalance of the PH parameters and from neutral it turns into acidic. In addition, patients suffering from diabetes have reduced saliva secretion which causes perfect conditions for fungal infection (candida albicans) causing redness and white patches.
In case of periodontal disease, as with any other infection, it is even harder to treat diabetes as it deteriorates the control over the diabetes and demands an immediate treatment. There are studies that confirm the connection between periodontal disease and uncontrolled diabetis (type 1 and 2). In addition, if diabetes is left untreated, it can deteriorate the already existing periodontal disease. Due to a weakened immune system, the increased amount of bacteria in the mouth cavity could cause different inflammations. The buccal mucosa is dry, red, swollen and extremely sensitive. Even when the smallest pressure is applied, the gums would bleed. Inflammations of such kind could easily deteriorate and progress into gingivitis and teeth loss.
The breath of diabetic patients usually smells of acetone and the increased acidity in the mouth due to lack of saliva secretion, could lead to caries and periodontal diseases. It is strongly recommended that diabetics ensure a proper oral hygiene which implies teeth brushing after every meal (at least 30 minutes after the meal), teeth flossing or using interdental brushes to remove the dental plaque as well as mouthwash
There are many preventive measures to be taken in order to protect your oral and general health. Some of them are:

Diabetics are considered to have a fragile oral health due to the medications they take as well as the nature of the disease itself. That is why it is essential that they pay attention to maintain regular and correct oral hygiene.

The feeling of dry mouth is quite common among diabetics. When taking small sips of water regularly, not only did the lack of saliva be substituted but the low pH becomes more neutral.

The recommended time frame a patient should visit their dentist for a plaque removal is once in six months, however diabetics are advised to do it more often i.e once in three months. It is essential that you inform your dentist about your health condition and which medications you take.

Should you notice that your gums are red and bleeding while brushing your teeth or flossing, seek immediate dental attention.

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