As a diabetic, it is extremely important to see a dentist on a regular basis. Diabetics are at an increased risk for all types health issues, including oral health problems. The primary reason is that uncontrolled blood sugar inhibits the ability of white blood cells to fight off infection. Most infection starts out with basic bacteria that can be killed using the body’s own natural defenses. Without these defenses in place, a diabetic will become sick more frequently and be at risk for other diseases.
The best and most important thing a diabetic can do for their health is to keep their blood sugar under control. This can typically be done by following a physician prescribed routine of diet and medication. Eating the wrong type of food, waiting too long in between meals, or failure to use insulin can cause sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar which leaves a diabetic susceptible to other health issues.
Since a diabetic has a more difficult time killing bacteria naturally, it is important for them to see the dentist more often than the average adult. Where most people should see a dentist twice a year, a diabetic may want to go three or four times a year. This allows the dentist to remove bacteria from the teeth and gum line that were not removed with brushing and flossing alone. By removing bacteria and plaque, both cavities and gum disease can be prevented. If a cavity has formed, it is important to treat it immediately before it has the ability to spread and infect the tooth’s root system, which can be incredibly painful.
Diabetics are also at increased risk of gum disease because diabetes slows down blood flow. Without enough blood flowing to the gums, they become swollen and at risk for infection. This can also become painful and removing the bacteria from the gum line will help to reduce the inflammation.
Trush is another challenge that many diabetic patients deal with. This is a fungal infection that comes from taking a high amount of antibiotics, something diabetic patients often need to do. It can create a burning sensation inside of the mouth and on the tongue which is extremely uncomfortable.
Overall, ongoing dental care is extremely important for keeping a diabetic patient from suffering from preventable oral health issues. This takes a concerted effort that involves at home care and regularly scheduling dental appointments. Fortunately, sitting in the dental chair for an hour isn’t too difficult, and it is the easiest way to prevent oral health problems from developing. At Fine Dental, we are experts at dental care and treating diabetic patients. We understand the complexity of health concerns a diabetic faces and often work with other medical professionals to coordinate care. This ensures that our patients receive their dental treatments during a time where they have the best shot at recovering quickly. We work with patients to keep their teeth and gums healthy so that they can focus on taking care of the rest of their body.