Dental Care Challenges That Diabetics Face

Apr 25, 2016 @ 03:13 PM — by Sharon B. Mateja, D.D.S.

Floss and a toothbrushPatients put their trust in Dr. Sharon Mateja because of her commitment to the people of Rancho Cucamonga. Her approach to general dentistry stresses total wellness and beautiful smiles, always focusing on prevention and sensible solutions to dental problems.

Many people that have visited Dr. Mateja suffer from diabetes, which leads to some unique dental care concerns. Let's cover these issues in a bit more detail.

Diabetes Affects General Wellness in Many Ways

If you have diabetes, you know that there are many challenges to your health and wellness related to your condition. Diabetes is often associated with obesity, hypertension, arthritis, and even vision loss later in life.

What many people do not realize if that diabetes can also have a negative impact on the health and beauty of your smile. Many dental problems may occur simply from having diabetes and not practicing good oral hygiene.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This is caused by the same bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath. There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

In the early stages, gum disease can lead to bleeding gums, gum discoloration, and swollen or irritated gums. If left untreated, gum recession may occur, eventually leading to tooth decay under the gumline, loose teeth, tooth misalignment, and tooth loss.

Tooth Decay and Diabetes

Because of blood sugar issues, many diabetics actually suffer from more serious problems with tooth decay. If the tooth decay progresses rapidly and goes untreated, a relatively minor cavity can eventually lead to major tooth damage and even a root canal infection.

Oral Thrush and Diabetes

On the note of infection, another issue to worry about is oral thrush. This is a fungal infection that can affect the inside of the mouth as well as the lips. It's an unsightly condition and can lead to major oral lesions if not treated promptly.

Dry Mouth and Diabetes

Dry mouth may seem like a minor problem in the grad scheme of things, but it's actually quite serious when it comes to your overall dental health and wellness. Dry mouth exacerbates tooth decay and gum disease, causing them to develop more rapidly and do more damage in the process.

Increased Risk of Tooth Loss

Given all of the above, it should come as no surprise that diabetics run a serious risk of experiencing tooth loss as a result of their condition. Major tooth loss can lead to serious problems with biting and chewing, and can obviously cause unsightly gaps in your smile as well.

Dental Care Tips for Diabetic Patients

If you suffer from diabetes, it's important to consider the following tips for wellness:

  • Monitor your blood sugar carefully
  • Take your insulin and other medications as directed
  • Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Drink water to remain hydrated through the day
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and dental care

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Sharon Mateja

To learn more about dental treatments for various health problems, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Sharon Mateja and the team at the practice will work closely with you to ensure lasting dental health.

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