Why people with diabetes should have regular dental check-ups

diabetes and oral health

Did you know that people with diabetes tend to have more oral health problems?

Looking after your teeth and gums is important for everyone, but if you suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, then regular check-ups are even more crucial.

Those with diabetes can avoid more serious health issues in the future by keeping an eye on their teeth and gums today.

diabetes and oral health

Diabetes and oral hygiene

Diabetes is when glucose levels in the blood are too high. This is a problem because most of the food we eat is turned into glucose for our body to burn as energy. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to help this transition from glucose to energy. In diabetics, the body either doesn’t produce insulin at all (Type 1), or can’t regulate the amount it produces (Type 2).

Diabetics are more likely to develop oral health issues, and should always be aiming to keep their blood sugar in normal range to reduce risk. A balanced diet, regular exercise and quitting smoking are all obvious ways to help fight the health problems associated with diabetes.

Regular check-ups at least every 6 months is recommended to pick up on any warning signs. Even the smallest issue can escalate with the added complication of diabetes, so treatment must be started as soon as possible.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetics also tend to be more prone to gum disease, affecting nearly 1-in-4 people who have the condition.

Gum disease is a result of the bacteria building up in your mouth, infecting your gums, and damaging the tissue which holds your teeth in place.

Diabetes makes it harder to fight these bacteria naturally, which can lead to infection, which in turn leads to a higher blood sugar, creating a vicious cycle of oral health problems.

Regular and thorough brushing is needed to keep the bacteria in check, with regular visits to the dental hygienist also recommended.

Diabetes and oral thrush

Your mouth contains an organism called Candida, which is a type of fungus. Normally it is kept in check, but for those with diabetes, your salvia may contain large amounts of sugars, which feed the fungus and encourage it to grow.

Also known as Oral Thrush, this condition manifests as creamy/white lesions on the tongue and cheeks, sometimes spreading to the roof of the mouth or back of the throat.

Symptoms of diabetes related oral health problems

Problems with your teeth and gums are increased dramatically if you suffer from diabetes. Urgent treatment may be required to ensure the condition does not escalate rapidly and develop into something which could damage your overall health irrevocably.

If you are diabetic, Type 1 or 2, and you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment to see you dentist immediately.

  • Sore or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

Come to SDAI for a check up

Regardless of whether you have diabetes or not, you should have regular dental check-ups.

Here at SDAI, from the moment you walk in through the door, our aim is to make you feel relaxed and calm, focusing on your comfort more than anything else.

We have professional, experienced dentists and dental hygienists who can explain to you exactly what’s going on and how you should be looking after your teeth, especially if you are diabetic.

Check-ups are essential if you wish to avoid more serious work down the line, and prevention is always better than cure.

Contact us today if you have any questions about diabetes and oral health, or if you would like to make an appointment with us.

Our friendly receptionist will be happy to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.