Dr. Cassidy, a local Plano dentist, helps patients with diabetes to stay in good oral health. Diabetes is a serious condition that impacts the health of your gums and teeth. According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes. This represents 10 percent of the entire U.S. adult population and that trend is expected to climb until it reaches 30 percent in 2050. Visiting an experienced dental professional can help diabetics to prevent oral health conditions. Why are Diabetics at Risk for Oral Health Issues?
There are multiple factors that can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. The entire population needs to watch out for things like smoking cigarettes and eating too much candy. Unfortunately, diabetics have to take preventative care much more seriously. Even those with healthy diets are at greater risk for getting an infection or gum disease. This is because when diabetics have a spike in blood sugar it prevents white blood cells from being able to do their job – fight infection and heal the body. When diabetics don’t have their blood sugar under control, their entire health is at risk.
Additionally, diabetes causes blood vessels to become thick and blood flow to be restricted. Most people are aware that this can cause problems with a diabetics feet and other limbs. It can also make gums swell and lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is uncomfortable but can be corrected with a thorough teeth cleaning. As a Plano dentist, we can clean around and underneath the gum line, remove bacteria and plaque, and help the gums to become healthy again. They key is to catch the disease early as full gum disease can be extremely painful, lead to major tooth and root infections, and cause teeth to fall out.
Diabetics also suffer from dry mouth, or a lack of saliva. This can cause breath to smell bad but more importantly, a lack of saliva means that the body is unable to naturally wash away the bacteria that forms in the mouth. All throughout the day, saliva is working hard to keep the mouth healthy. Without it, patients are at risk. Diabetics should carry a water bottle and stay hydrated in order to combat this common condition.
How to Prevent Oral Health Problems
Diabetics can prevent common health issues by following these tips:
- Eat a healthy diet. A person's diet directly impacts their blood sugar levels. For a diabetic, eating healthy shouldn’t be an option. A physician or dietician can help diabetics to structure their diet so that they won’t have strange spikes in blood sugar. Snacking on nuts and crunchy vegetables can also strengthen the teeth.
- Take medication and insulin as directed. This will help to control a diabetics’ blood sugar and prevent sudden swings. Adjustments may be needed from time to time in order to find the perfect balance and dosage.
- Brush after each meal. Diabetics should get in the habit of brushing after every meal, using floss every day, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. This will help to kill bacteria and keep the mouth healthy.
Patients should visit our Plano dentist office to have their teeth cleaned at least twice per year. This will keep their teeth and gums healthy while preventing oral health issues. To learn more about Dr. Cassidy and the team check out our website or call the office.