Did you know that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes in the United States?
Taking care of your teeth and gums is crucial if you have diabetes. The high sugar levels in your saliva can foster the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to grow inside your mouth, resulting in gum disease which can lead to periodontal disease.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) indicates that diabetes and gum disease are connected. Diabetes raises the risk of gum disease, and having gum disease will later increase diabetes complications making it hard for the person to control their sugar levels in the future.
So how can you protect your smile to mitigate gum disease while having diabetes?
Just like diabetes, periodontal disease can develop without giving significant warnings. That’s why we’ll discuss several topics from detecting diabetes mouth symptoms to dental treatments available. We don’t want this diabolic duo (diabetes and gum disease) to take over your oral health.
Oral Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose is too high. This condition doesn’t only affect your organs, it takes a toll on your whole body. When it comes to your mouth, diabetes can present itself in several ways such as:
- Dry mouth – People with diabetes tend to have a decrease in saliva, therefore, to fight dry mouth, drink more water, and avoid sugary foods.
- Gum disease – Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. If not treated properly, it can develop into gingivitis followed by periodontitis. To reverse gingivitis back to healthy gums, you should brush and floss after every meal.
- A change in the taste of food – A shift in flavor may occur if you have diabetes. We recommend you visit your orthodontist instead of adding more sugar or salt to add flavor.
- Slow healing – This is the most challenging way diabetes can affect your mouth health. Unfortunately, mismanagement of your diet and sugar levels can prevent sores from healing correctly.
Diabetes and Dental Care
Our team stresses the importance of practicing daily oral care. Not doing so can result in gingivitis, and if not treated, it will lead to periodontal disease. This inflammatory disease will not only destroy your gums, but will also affect the bones holding your teeth.
Around 22% of the people diagnosed with diabetes have periodontal disease. To avoid becoming part of the statistic, we recommend you to follow these tips:
- Follow a healthy diet and avoid starchy and sticky foods
- Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day
- Floss your teeth daily
- Don’t miss your dental cleaning appointments
- Avoid smoking cigarettes
- Manage your sugar levels wisely
We know diabetes can bring uncertainty, but remember that you take charge of your dental health. To optimize your oral routine, use additional tools such as the waterpik, floss threader, and proxabrush.
Diabetes Disease and Losing Teeth
You don’t have to worry about losing teeth due to periodontal disease if you take immediate action. As mentioned before, always visit your dentist for your regular cleanings and upcoming treatments.
Update your doctor on your diabetic condition, as there are several types, which involve different medications and treatments. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain while biting
Impeccable oral hygiene will help you prevent several diseases such as periodontitis, tooth decay, and oral ulcers. By following all the tips provided and managing your diabetes appropriately, your efforts will be rewarded with long-lasting healthy gums.
We know managing diabetes is a life-long commitment. That is why we work with our patients to develop a specific plan and mitigate any troubles along the way. Keep in mind that when your periodontal health is good, so are your sugar levels.
If you have any concerns, give us a call at our Tampa or New Port Richey locations.