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Did you know that 29.1 million people living in the united states have diabetes? that's 9.3% of the population. Approximately 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year and 8.1 million people living with diabetes don't even know they have it.
Diabetes affects your body's ability to process sugar. All food you eat is turned to sugar and used for energy. In type I diabetes, the body doesn't make enough insulin, a hormone that carries sugar from your blood to the cells that need it for energy. In type ii diabetes, the body stops responding to insulin. Both cases result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.
So what does this have to do with that smile of yours and how can you protect it? first, it's important to understand the signs of diabetes and the roles they play in your mouth.
The symptoms of untreated diabetes
The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.
If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here's how:
You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (dry mouth is also caused by certain medications.)
Because saliva protects your teeth, you're also at a higher risk of cavities.
Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
You may have problems tasting food.
You may experience delayed wound healing.
You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.
Why people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease
All people have more tiny bacteria living in their mouth now than there are people on this planet. If they make their home in your gums, you can end up with periodontal disease. This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
How your dentist can help you fight diabetes
Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help to lower your hba1c. (this is a lab test that shows your average level of blood sugar over the previous three months. It indicates how well you are controlling your diabetes.)
Your diabetes dental health action plan
Teamwork involving self-care and professional care from your dentist will be beneficial in keeping your healthy smile as well as potentially slowing progression of diabetes. Here are five oral health-related things you can do to for optimal wellness:
Control your blood sugar levels. Use your diabetes-related medications as directed, changing to a healthier diet and even exercising more can help. Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.
Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and floss correctly daily.
See your dentist for regular checkup.
Hi, please any doctor reply me, I am suffering for bad breath, my mother also have bad breath, now her full teeths gone, and she s suffering from bad breath, please help. I am getting frustration everyday, fear life everyday.
I am 18 year old. And my teeth are getting very much sensitivity. And I am not able to eat any cold thing. So please give me Some Solution.
I have been smoking, and there's a tar formed over the teeth sometimes there's blood also coming from them just want to know is this symptoms of gingivitis.
Intermittent light gum bleeding but not while brushing. All tooth are intact no problem.Please prescribe me to overcome from problem ?
Pregnancy brings with it a whole lot of body system changes and oral health is no exception. Some simple careful planning, however, can help avoid a lot of oral health complications associated with pregnancy. The hormonal changes during pregnancy have a direct effect on the oral health and has higher incidence of decay, pregnancy gingivitis, and pregnancy tumors. Additionally, morning sickness affects the regular oral care, leading to more plaque and decay.
Before pregnancy: If you are planning to get pregnant, then a dental visit can help you get a thorough check-up ahead of the pregnancy. A routine cleaning and check for cavities should be sufficient to avoid any urgent treatment need during the period of pregnancy.
During pregnancy: If you were not able to do your pre-pregnancy dental visit, inform the dentists about pregnancy as early as possible. All elective procedures can be done after the delivery. Only really essential treatment that cannot wait until the delivery should be undertaken during pregnancy, most safe if done during the 4th to 6th months.
Listed below are some points to consider as far as oral/dental health is considered during pregnancy:
- Scaling and polishing can be done as usual
- Inform the dentist about all the medications that you are advised by your gynecologist
- Periodic check-up once in 3 months to reduce severity of gum disease and decay
- Good oral hygiene measures including brushing, flossing, and rinsing
- Try a bland toothpaste if morning sickness is very severe
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Tooth formation happens in the third month and requires diet rich in calcium and minerals
- Avoid sweet snacks which can lead to greater plaque formation
The hormone changes combined with oral infection (could be gum disease or tooth decay) can lead to severe effects on the developing baby. It is extremely important to avoid dental infections, as these may necessitate antibiotics, require x-rays and even require treatment like root canal and/or extraction, all of which are best avoided until after the baby is delivered. It is considered safe for dental procedures to be done during the 4th to 6th month. Though now there are safer measures to do x-rays and dental procedures, they are best avoided, unless in case of emergency. This emergency situation can be avoided by better planning and some minimal care. Severe gum disease could also lead to premature or low birth weight of the baby. So plaque buildup should be avoided which leads to both decay and gum disease.
After delivery: After the delivery of the baby, please visit your dentist to ensure that there is no emergent dental condition requiring attention. Resume your regular dental care after delivery.