As a diabetic, you know how important it is to keep your blood sugar in check. Failing to do so could lead to a range of consequences, from vision loss to peripheral nerve damage. Did you know, though, that allowing your blood sugar to get out of control for even short periods of time increases your risk of several dental-related issues, including the following?
Though all diabetics are at an increased risk of gum disease, those who do a poor job of keeping their blood sugar in check are particularly at risk. Though in its beginning stages gum disease symptoms are rather minor—they include redness and bleeding during tooth brushing—the disease can quickly progress to its more advanced stage, known as periodontal disease. In this advanced stage, the ligaments that anchor the teeth into the jaw become affected. The teeth may begin to loosen and wiggle, eventually falling out.
You can minimize your risk of gum disease not only by controlling your blood sugar but also by taking excellent care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing thoroughly and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. If you do develop gum disease symptoms, such as swelling, redness, and bleeding, tell your dentist. He or she can prescribe an antibiotic cream or oral medication to ensure you heal from the condition before it has a chance to progress.
When your blood sugar rises, saliva production decreases. On its surface, dry mouth may seem like just an annoyance, but in fact, a dry mouth is very appealing to oral bacteria. Left untreated, a dry mouth can lead to serious tooth decay. You may find that you need to have numerous cavities filled, or worse, that you need to have several badly decayed teeth removed.
If your mouth feels dry on a regular basis, this may indicate that you need to do a better job of controlling your blood sugar. You should also talk to your dentist about treatment options that address dry mouth directly. He or she may recommend a prescription rinse that increases saliva production. Chewing sugar-free gum between meals is a good temporary fix, as it should increase saliva production somewhat.
As a diabetic, you can live a long and generally healthy life; you just need to be more aware of your health and wellness than most people, and that includes your dental health. For further advice, find a general dentist like Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS.