Diabetes is running rampant amongst America’s population. Tens of millions of people suffer from this condition, and more are diagnosed every day. Diabetes affects every aspect of life, and dental care is no exception. There are special considerations for your mouth, so we’ve put together a short list of things to think about. Some you might be aware of (or have experienced), but probably not all.
Periodontal disease is another word for gum disease. Gum disease causes the gums to swell, bleed, and become tender. It can cause bad breath and other unpleasant tastes. If left alone, gum disease will eventually lead to the loss of teeth. Diabetics are 2-3 times more likely to develop gum disease than non-diabetics. When gum disease does appear, it is usually much more severe. There is even research that shows gum disease has a negative impact on glycemic control, which can be detrimental to someone trying to control their diabetes.
Dry Mouth, Bad Breath, and Burning Mouth Syndrome
These three symptoms are most unpleasant! They are also extremely annoying because they can be so difficult to control! Burning mouth is probably the most difficult to control. Try to keep track of any foods that might accelerate this symptom and avoid those foods when possible. Dry mouth and bad breath can be easier to control short term, but more difficult in the long term. In the short term, chewing sugar-free gum can really help with bad breath and dry mouth symptoms because it encourages saliva production. Drinking plenty of water will also help.
Routine dental care is especially important for our diabetic patients. Because gum disease can become a problem so quickly, it is imperative to see a dentist regularly. Routine 6-month appointments will save your natural teeth from being lost. Regular cleaning will also protect your teeth from decay and work against bad breath symptoms.
Contact us soon to set up your appointment! Being a diabetic can require a lot of extra work, but it doesn’t have to keep you from having a happy, healthy smile! We’ll look forward to seeing you soon!