A study found that 10 percent of adults with diabetes have lost all of their teeth. That number should shock you because diabetes and oral health is no laughing matter.
Suppose you are one of the millions living with diabetes in Canada. In that case, you already know how high blood sugar affects your heart or pancreas. Still, you probably haven’t paid much attention to how diabetes impacts your oral health.
Unfortunately, there are health consequences if you ignore the relationship between type 1 or type 2 diabetes and oral health.
Continue reading for information about diabetic oral conditions and the importance of diabetes dental care.
How Diabetes Impacts Your Oral Health
If you have diabetes, then teeth and gum problems are sure to follow. So oral symptoms are some of the first you may notice when you develop diabetes.
Some people may feel a burning or tingling sensation intermittently. This is called dysesthesia, and unmitigated blood sugar levels often cause it. However, if symptoms are still present with good glycemic levels, it might be a permanent disorder caused by neuropathy.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is another common diabetic oral condition. Scientists believe that this is due to how diabetes changes the functions of your salivary glands.
Dry mouth causes significant impairments to quality of life because it can make it painful to eat and even smile.
Xerostomia and high salivary glucose levels also contribute to the prevalence of gum disease and dental decay. This is because your saliva is the first line of defense against tartar buildup. In addition, high levels of glucose encourage the growth of “bad” bacteria.
Take note if you have sores that won’t heal, have loose teeth, or a change in taste or smell. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit a dentist for diabetes dental care right away.
Diabetes Dental Care
Dental care for diabetes is essential; your life depends on it. Doctors today understand the correlation between periodontal disease, heart disease, and cancer. Luckily, there are some things you can do at home to support a healthy mouth.
- Maintain good glucose levels by eating a healthy diet and exercising often
- Brush your teeth twice a day, and after eating
- Use soft circular motions angled at your gum line
- Spend time on every tooth and about 30 seconds in each quadrant
- Floss every day
- Drink plenty of water
And, remember never to ignore unordinary symptoms like dry mouth or tingling, which may be related to serious problems. Your doctor and dentist can treat these symptoms and prevent worsening.
Prevent Dental Disease
Diabetes dental care is more than home hygiene. If you have diabetes, the only way to ensure that your mouth is healthy and free from disease is by visiting a professional dental office for a thorough check-up and cleaning two to four times a year.
Keep in mind that special care should be taken with type 1 diabetes and dentistry. That is why visiting it’s vital that you find a dentist that you trust.
At O2 Dental in Vancouver, we believe that everyone deserves a happy, healthy, and confident smile. So contact us today to schedule a check-up.