Managing diabetes can be very complicated, and individuals must take care to ensure proper blood circulation to all the parts of their bodies. Good oral hygiene also requires satisfactory blood circulation and diabetics must take extra care to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Gum disease and tooth loss in the diabetic is a potential problem related to poor circulation and increased salivary sugars in the mouth, which in turn provides growth of germs that lead to tooth rot.
Diabetics who do not properly manage their blood glucose level are at an increased risk of developing dental problems. If your sugar levels are all over the place, you will not produce enough saliva, and the amount of sugar in your mouth will also increase. The resulting condition of your dry mouth can lead to ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Monitoring and maintaining the proper blood glucose levels for your body is important, especially to prevent oral problems.
Because people with diabetes generally have poor blood circulation, they may not feel any pain or discomfort until their dental problems are at an advanced stage. As such, the diabetic should examine their mouths and look for any of the following:
- Tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding whenever brushing or flossing teeth
- Pus oozing from gums
- Teeth that seem to be longer than normal or seem to be moving away from each other
- For denture wearers, look out for loosely fitting pieces or dentures that no longer fit the way they used to
Diabetics who are not in control of their sugar level will find that, over time, they will get severe toothaches. This happens because the blood flow to the gums is reduced. The ramifications to toothaches are obvious – you will not be able to chew properly due to pain. If you cannot chew, you may be tempted to skip meals or not eat a well balanced meal.
If you notice any of these signs you need to see your dentist immediately. Like everyone else, the person living with diabetes must visit their dentists at least twice per year.
Whether or not you have diabetes you should develop good dental care habits. This means brushing and flossing daily. Use a soft-bristled brush so that you reduce the chance of irritating your gums. Ideally, you should try to brush at least twice per day and once being before going to bed. Make sure to brush your gums and tongue as well. To make sure that your toothbrush is in good condition, change it every three months. Flossing once a day is also vital to good dental health. Always rinse thoroughly after flossing to remove food particles from between the teeth.
With over ninety percent of the adult population in the USA having some form of dental problem during their lifetime, one can image how these figures can become compounded when you factor in the size of the diabetic population. If you want to keep your teeth, you need to start paying special to your dental hygiene as well as control your blood sugar levels. Controlling blood glucose levels is a strong start to ensuring you don’t lose your teeth to rot, and taking the time to check your mouth for signs of periodontal disease can help prevent many problems.