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Diabetes and Oral Care

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One of the most alarming of all health diseases is diabetes and precisely those already affected are more susceptible to dental problems. Studies show that “one-quarter of Canadians have Diabetes or pre-diabetes and therefore are vulnerable to infections and must be especially vigilant about their oral health.” But how does Diabetes influence oral health?  The answer is, this disease affects your whole body including your mouth and risk is high when your blood sugar level is poorly controlled.

Connection between Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes at an uncontrolled level impairs white blood cells, which are the main defence shields for the mouth and of course the entire system. It can also narrow the blood vessels of gums leading to reduced blood supply and increased rate of infection inside the mouth. 

Similarly, the other way around is – poor oral health can further worsen the health implications associated with diabetes and can potentially give rise to a wide range of health complications. Gum infections and tooth diseases might increase blood sugar level and the delay the control process.

Another factor is- high blood glucose levels cause dehydration and drying of mouth due to decreased production of saliva. This enhances formation of plaque and tartar and a wide range of gum diseases.

Different types of Tooth Infections that might Trigger Diabetes

Cavities: Different types of bacteria already reside in your mouth and are in constant lookout to feed on starchy and sugary substrates. These bacterial reactions release a sticky film of plaque that settles around your teeth.  People with diabetes are more likely to have tooth decay due to increased supply of sugar on which bacteria can feast on.

Gingivitis: It’s a gum disease that might occur due to body’s inability to combat infections. The gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth are severely infected, eventually leading to build-up of bacterial plaques, which pile up in the gum line as calcium deposits or tartar. If not treated at early stages, it ultimately leads to tooth loss (periodontitis).

Some more problems: Some more symptoms that you must watch out for include bleeding gums after brushing or eating, bad breath, toothache, dryness, burning and lasting ulcers inside the mouth.

Holistic Oral Care- How?

If you are a diabetic, then by now you very well know that you are likely to develop tooth problems. So why delay? Go for a holistic oral care regimen after taking advice from a dentist. We offer you some simple solutions here that you can follow daily.

  • Manage diabetes by monitoring your blood sugar level and follow your doctor’s advice most scrupulously.
  • Practise oral hygiene with healthy habits. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss between teeth, clean your tongue daily and remove dentures.
  • Rinse your mouth with a medicated fungicide or anti-bacterial lotion.
  • Avoid chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes for best results.

These simple precautions have also been suggested in The Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health that states- “good oral health is integral to general health. So be sure to brush and floss properly and see your dentist for regular checkups.”

We too advise you to go for regular dental checkups to rule out any kind of oral problems. The earlier you know the quicker you heal. However, the most important thing here is to keep a check on your blood sugar level in order to ensure proper oral health.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: January 01, 2015

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