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Diabetes and Oral Health – A Few Tips

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Diabetes and Oral Health – A Few Tips

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Diabetes is a variety of diseases which affect the hormone insulin. The pancreas is normally the organ which produces insulin, which helps manage the sugar and fat in our body, mainly by helping your body store the food. Diabetes occurs when your body produces little or no insulin, or when it does not respond appropriately to the already present insulin. Since there is not cure as of yet, proper management is more than encouraged.

Your teeth could also be at risk if you leave your diabetes unchecked. There are several consequences that could occur due to bad health maintenance, and here are some of them:

  • The most frequent thing that can occur if you have diabetes and are not very vigilant about controlling it is xerostomia, or the dry mouth disease. It occurs when your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth hydrated. The tissues in your mouth then become sore and inflamed, which can cause problems in eating, as chewing and swallowing become difficult. Difficulty in eating makes it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels.
  • A disease related to this one is a fungal disease involving your normally friendly candida albicans, a fungus that lives in your mouth, without causing problems. But, with a deficiency of saliva in your mouth, and the added sugar because of the diabetes, you can end up with candidiasis (thrush), which makes itself known by white and red sore spots in your mouth.
  • Gum disease is another thing that you would want to look out for, especially if you do not control your blood sugar levels. With a lot of bacteria living in your gums, and high sugar levels, you can end up damaging the gums, and when the bacteria get there, they may cause an infection, which in turn raises the sugar level, again. Controlling your sugar levels is essential if you have diabetes, regardless of the potential disease that you might get.
  • Since the above two are intertwined, controlling your sugar levels is necessary to maintain general health, but, specifically, increased glucose levels can damage your teeth, as mentioned, as they find their way to the saliva. That way, they can damage the enamel, and the gums, too, leading to more problems

Control Your Sugar Levels – Consult Your Dentist

While it may be obvious that any person with diabetes, no matter the type, should control their glucose levels, they should also consult with their dentist regularly, and inform them of their health issue, especially prior to any invasive procedure.

The general tips for maintaining your oral health remain, you have to brush and floss regularly in order to keep your mouth free of any germs and food that might get stuck between the teeth. Add to that the potential effects of diabetes, and you have to double your effort, especially if you are not a fan of glucose control.

Take your usual medications, eat before visiting your dentist, refrain from surgery until your blood sugar levels are normal and always consult your dentist, even if you have the slightest symptom of a disease in your mouth.