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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.
1. Brush teeth twice a day.
2. Floss daily.
3. Brush or scrape your tongue.
4. Use a mouth rinse- mix of water and few drops of peppermint oil or rinse your mouth with black or green tea.
5. Visit your dentist regularly.
6. Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products.
7. Be sure to drink a sufficient amount of water.
Dear Doctors, Two of my front teeth are gone when I dashed an auto rickshaw with my pulsar 220. Now I got an artificial denture which is very painful n I can't eat anything with it. If I don't put I get shy n I could neither laugh nor speak to friends specially girls. Is there any natural way to grow my teeth back? Or any better solution rather than those painful dentures?
In chennai I need to take dental treatment. My gums are bleeding., And very slightly moving teeth and blackened infection also starting in teeth. I need advanced painless treatment. I am afraid of hospital. So please suggest me painless treatment.
Hi I have bad breath and bleeding problem from 1 and half year i also meet dentist but the problem should be there
I have gastric problem. At morning everyday at the time of brush my teeth, I feel like vomiting. sometime it's vomits. What is best solution for this.
I have yellow stains on my teeth due to underground water, please suggest me the treatment for this. Is there any type laser treatment by dentist to remove the yellow stains from teeth? please suggest..
Gum disease begins with the growth of bacteria in your mouth and it may end with loss of teeth. Thus, the severity of gum disease or periodontitis should not be underestimated. Tooth loss mainly happens due to the destruction of the tissue which surrounds the teeth.
Types of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is basically the first stage of periodontitis. It causes bleeding from the gums and also causes immense pain in the teeth.
- Periodontitis: In periodontitis, the gum and teeth separate. A gap is formed between the two which may cause debris to accumulate in the space and cause other infections.
Causes of gum disease:
The exact cause of gum disease is not known but here are some of the possible causes:
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause and puberty are just some times the gums become more sensitive and gingivitis develops.
- Illnesses: Cancer, HIV, diabetes and other illnesses may cause problems with the immune system and damage the gums. This is an example of how gingivitis is caused as a complication of other disorders.
- Bad habits: Smoking causes gum disease as you may already know.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing may lead to accumulation of food materials in the mouth causing gum diseases.
- Family history: Family history is also a major contributing factor to what may cause gum disease.
The treatment prescribed for gum disease depends how deep it is set and whether it is a case of gingivitis or periodontitis. Here are the possible treatments for gum disease:
- Professional dental cleaning: This is the most common treatment used in the early stages of gum disease. In fact, dental cleanings are usually used to prevent it and are used as soon as tartar and plaque buildup.
- Scaling and root planing: This is also a type of cleaning except that it needs to be done under a local anesthetic as there is a certain degree of pain involved in the procedure.
- Surgery: Surgery is also sometimes used to remove the infected pockets and put the gums back in their original place.