Diabetes and Dental Health

Did you know that diabetes has a serious impact on dental health?  We are going to explore the problems that can arise in the mouth and how a dentist can help someone with diabetes.

There is a plethora of advice on diet, exercise and complementary therapies that may help someone with diabetes control the disease effectively. We are not advocating any particular method but are more concerned with highlighting the effect it has on your dental health. We would encourage anyone concerned to firstly seek medical advice, and secondly do some research, particularly into eating healthily and exercise.

Food plays a key role in our health – so choose wisely and carefully and consider the benefits of seeing your dentist regularly to help you control diabetes and its effect on your body.


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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition whereby there is too much glucose in your blood usually due to an imbalance in insulin.  Insulin regulates and controls the amount of sugar in blood.

Over time this can affect the whole body, in terms of the mouth, specific areas are the gums and bone structure in the jaw, leading to gum disease.

Diabetes is an increasingly common health condition. The causes could be hereditary although often diet and eating habits play a large part in the development of this disease.

How does Diabetes affect Oral Health?

When a person is aware of their diabetes and it is being controlled then it has minimal effect on oral health.

The danger arises when someone is not controlling the disease.  Diabetics are predisposed to gum disease, and numerous studies have shown the link between diabetes and gum disease.

The problem with gum disease is that once it is left to proliferate it becomes difficult to control and then the chances of tooth loss are much higher.

 

Did you know that Gum Disease is the primary cause of tooth loss? 

This is because gum disease weakens the bone structure and causes inflammation in the gums resulting in the teeth becoming looser.  This is why if gum disease is left untreated, teeth will usually, eventually fall out.

Basically controlling diabetes, and also gum disease means less chance of health problems and greater ability for the body to maintain overall good health.

 

Why is it important to maintain good Oral Health?

If gum disease is present then not only can it worsen resulting in tooth loss, but it also  causes underlying bone loss.   Symptoms of gum disease include a sore mouth, bleeding gums, greater sensitivity & noticeably wobblDiabetesy teeth.

Other problems people can experience include slower healing and greater risk of infection after oral surgery.

 

Why do they need help with their dental health?

Nobody wants to lose perfectly strong and healthy teeth.  So our aim is to help control & prevent gum disease from happening.  We support our patients with advice and tips on oral hygiene and how to implement their own regimes at home.

How can the dentist help?

The dentist aims to do whatever is possible to reduce, control or avoid gum disease altogether. By providing information, time and space for patients to ask questions and discuss their problems, and work with them regularly we can help them combat any signs of gum disease.

 Further to this how can the Periodontist help?

If a patient’s gum disease is quite advanced this is considered an advanced Periodontal case.  One of the problems the patient is likely to experience is large areas of inflammation that don’t heal easily.

A periodontist will help treat and control these to bring back an overall balance in the body particularly in the diabetes and inflammation and the resulting increase in bacteria circulating in the body.

The importance of periodontal treatment is to save the teeth, and alleviate the problem caused by the increase in bacteria that are circulating throughout the entire body’s systems, including the blood vessels.

How does Preventative Dental treatment help?

Our main aim is to treat and reduce the effects of anything that increases an individual’s chances of developing decay or gum disease. We have found that helping our patients put a preventative plan in place really helps them focus on the changes they can make and therefore achieve the results they want.

 How does this enhance patient’s health?

The body’s systems have to work less hard to combat the overload of bacteria and therefore there is less inflammation.

There is also much less risk of losing bone and teeth, both of which are essential to be able to eat healthily and function confidently socially.

Improving gum health by treating periodontal disease may also improve control of diabetes. The extent of this improvement has been compared to the effect of an additional diabetes-controlling drug.

In other words, if your gum disease is controlled you may avoid taking more medication for your diabetes!

How does good diet, nutrition & exercise help?

Good diet, nutrition and exercise help hugely in controlling diabetes.  As we said earlier, it is best to seek medical advice as well as do your own research and find something that helps you – there are a variety of eating plans and ways of exercising – and different things help different people.

Aside from the health benefits, if someone with diabetes feels an improvement in wellness that is good for them.  Less issues arising from uncontrolled diabetes can only be good in the long run for overall health including oral health.