Millions of people are living with diabetes. Patients with diabetes may have a difficult time producing insulin, cannot produce insulin, or their body doesn’t make enough insulin. Too much glucose in the blood can cause severe complications for health, including oral health. Patients with diabetes may have a more difficult time fighting off infection, leaving them more susceptible to oral health problems like thrush and gum disease. Knowing the signs of dental problems associated with diabetes can help patients know when to visit the dentist.
Diabetes and Your Oral Health in Lexington, KY
Patients with diabetes are more prone to developing certain types of dental problems than patients without diabetes. It is important to visit our office regularly so we can properly check the teeth and gums for these dental problems.
Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Gum disease is an infection that affects your teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, but left untreated can lead to a more advanced stage of gum disease. Patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease because the body has a more difficult time fighting off infection.
Symptoms of gum disease like bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and shifting teeth. In addition, patients with diabetes are more susceptible to losing teeth due to gum disease. We offer periodontal therapy services like scaling and root planing to remove bacteria from the gums and tooth roots. Our team can also offer scaling and root planing for patients every several months to help treat chronic infections.
This yeast-like fungus grows in the mouth. Symptoms of thrush include white patches in the mouth, soreness, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. Diabetes can increase the likelihood of patients developing thrush because patients with diabetes have higher levels of sugar in their blood. As a result, patients can also have higher levels of sugar in their saliva. Topical or oral medications can help treat thrush and prevent mouth sores.
Patients with diabetes may be more prone to developing a dry mouth. Dry mouth may indicate that the mouth isn’t producing the appropriate amount of saliva needed in the mouth. This condition may leave patients more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. Dry mouth is also often one of the first symptoms of diabetes. Making sure to hydrate, using a humidifier, and chewing sugar-free gum can help saliva production and combat dry mouth.
If you haven’t visited the dentist this year, or you have concerns regarding your oral health, schedule a dental appointment at our Lexington dental office. Dr. Doyle Freano offers complete dental care for patients in need of dental care. In the meantime, practice an excellent oral hygiene routine, monitor your blood sugar and follow the advice of your physician.