If you have diabetes, you are already aware of how the condition affects your body. It’s the same with the gums and teeth. Your Wicker Park Dentist may be the first to recognise diabetic symptoms in certain people. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the link between diabetes and oral health.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level, also known as blood glucose, is too high. This occurs because the body does not create enough insulin or is unable to adequately utilise insulin. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young people. In these patients, the immune system targets the cells that create insulin in the pancreas, preventing the body from producing enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly and can affect patients of any age.
How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Health?
Diabetes can impact the teeth and gums in a variety of ways. Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontal disease, is linked to diabetes. This is a gum disease that causes the gums and jawbone to move away from the teeth and lose their adhesion. Diabetics are at a higher risk because their capacity to fight infection and heal correctly is impaired.
Diabetic patients are also more prone to tooth decay, also known as cavities. Increased acids can damage the surfaces of the teeth, including enamel and dentin, due to high blood sugar levels. Gingivitis, a precursor to periodontal disease, is also caused by this problem.
Thrush is also an issue for diabetic people. Thrush is a fungal infection caused by Candida albicans, a yeast. Thrush is characterised by white or red patches in the mouth that are unpleasant. To minimize thrush, diabetic people should pay extra attention to their oral hygiene habits.
Finally, diabetic patients frequently suffer dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can lead to various dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, or thrush since the lack of saliva reduces your natural capacity to clean your teeth throughout the day.
Symptoms to Look Out For
Excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and weariness are all symptoms of diabetes. You may also feel dry mouth, gum inflammation or bleeding, difficulty tasting food, or poor wound healing within the mouth as dental symptoms. Children with diabetes may also have teeth that emerge at a younger age than the general population.
Dental Treatment Options for Diabetes
To avoid dental issues associated with diabetes, patients must carefully regulate their blood sugar levels. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also recommended by Dr. Maeng. Diabetic patients must practise proper dental hygiene to avoid concerns such as gum disease, cavities, and thrush, which they are more susceptible to.
Dr. Maeng can also advise you on the best ways to keep your oral hygiene in check as part of your normal at-home routine. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and not smoking are just a few of them.
How Often Should Diabetic Patients Visit the Dentist?
Patients with diabetes should have expert cleanings and check-ups at least twice a year. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you observe any signs such as gum inflammation, bleeding, or loose teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Call 773-819-7724 to make an appointment with Dr. Maeng in Wicker Park, or request an appointment online.