Most diagnosed diabetics know that increased blood glucose levels affect healing. But surprisingly few know that diabetes impacts their oral health.
How does diabetes affect teeth and gums?
High blood glucose levels causes damage to the tiny blood vessels in our bodies. Hundreds of tiny blood vessels supply our teeth and gums. As a result, Diabetics have a lack of blood flow in these areas. Furthermore; diabetes also reduces our healing ability.
The cells around our teeth turnover millions of times a day. Diabetes damages this process. Diabetics are prone to gum disease as a result of low immune levels.
Your dentist can diagnose diabetes
Unfortunately, on some occasions, we have been able to diagnose raised blood glucose, simply by carrying out a dental check-up. A blood test to check raised blood glucose levels confirms the presence of the disease.
How should diabetics look after their dental health
Regular dental examinations are important to allow for early disease detection. Our diabetic patients should see the dental hygienist at least four times a year to ensure the best gum health. Cleaning between your teeth is important. Regular use of floss and interdental brushes will ensure that the gums are kept as clean as possible. Without interdental cleaning, one can only clean two thirds of the tooth surfaces.
If you lose your teeth through diabetes
Commonly, patients lose their teeth as a result of diabetes. It’s important that as a patient you don’t rush into having complex dental work if your blood sugar is not under control. Unfortunately, uncontrolled diabetes means you cannot have dental implants. The most important step is to get your blood glucose levels under control. Always discuss the options with your dentist.