Diabetes and dental treatment

Diabetes and dental treatment

 Diabetes is a health condition that can have an important part of your dental health if not properly controlled. It is caused because the body cannot produce or respond to insulin, which is a hormone that carries sugar through your blood. All food is broken down into glucose that is then released into the bloodstream and that is broken down into energy by cells. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is caused because the body stops producing enough insulin, which results in the disruption of metabolism. Type 2 diabetes is caused because the body becomes resistant to insulin and either does not respond properly or does not produce enough of it. Both cases result in high sugar levels in the blood, which can produce serious effects on your kidneys, brain, eyes, heart and other organs.

Diabetes also affects your mouth. If your sugar levels in the blood are high, your saliva will also have them. This creates a haven for bacteria, as they thrive in glucose-rich environments. This results in a faster production of plaque and the accumulation thereof in the form of calculus. Diabetic persons are also more prone to cavities, especially when medicines inhibit saliva production. This leads to an oral condition called dry mouth, which in turn causes sores, ulcers, and thrush. In addition, dentists have found a direct relationship between gum disease and diabetic conditions. This is because there is an ideal environment for bacterial accumulations around teeth and beneath the gumline, which is the first stage of periodontal illness. Finally, diabetic patients experience a slower healing process. It is important to mention the condition to your dentist, especially if you will undergo surgical treatments like implants, bone grafts, or extractions. Retarded healing involves a higher risk of post-surgical infection, pain, or other complications.

It is very important to communicate about your condition and all the medications associated with it to your dental provider. It is also very important to visit him often for cleanings and for personalized dental advice. Gum disease is a destructive illness that affects a high percentage of diabetics, but that is totally avoidable with thorough and regular care.  Here is a dental health action plan for diabetic patients that will help avoid long-term damage to teeth.

  • Control your glucose levels in the blood. Try to keep them as close to normal as possible.
  • Rinse every day with antiseptic mouthwash. This will keep bacterial growth checked. If you have dry mouth use rinses without alcohol.
  • Brush your teeth after each meal. To protect the enamel, it is best to wait 30 minutes until saliva has worn away acids.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the greatest risk factors for teeth and gum complications.
  • If you wear dentures or partials, remove them at night and clean them every day. These accumulate bacteria and can cause gum sores if not removed daily.
  • Use a soft-bristled tooth brush.
  • Attend professional cleanings every six months.
  • If you have implant-supported dentures or fixed bridges, use an oral irrigator each day to remove food residue beneath them.

At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we specialize in providing dental services to people like you. Not only can we help with high-quality work for affordable prices, but we also count with valuable experience working on complex cases. Our team is very caring and will make you feel right at home. Contact us now to find out more. 

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