|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
April 19, 2015
Over 20 million people live with diabetes, but only about two-thirds of these individuals have been diagnosed. Studies done have shown that people with diabetes are more susceptible to develop oral infections and periodontal (gum) disease. The relationship between these diseases causes great concern because serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood sugar and contribute to the development or progression of diabetes. This connection makes it even more important for diabetics to see their dentist on a regular basis for check-ups and to keep their dentist up to date on the status of their diabetes, oral health and overall health.
The Gum Disease and Diabetes Relationship
Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection and this resistance causes the gums to be at a higher risk of gingivitis. Gingivitis is a reversible form of gum disease that is usually caused by the presence of bacteria. Bacteria works to produce toxins that create a sticky film that accumulates on the teeth, above and below the gum line. The accumulation of the bacteria near the gum line causes inflammation. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is an irreversible destruction of the tissues that surround and support the teeth.
Other Dental Problems
Diabetes can be associated with other dental problems. It can be connected to thrush (candidiasis), an infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth, and dry mouth, which can cause soreness, ulcers, infections and cavities. To prevent problems with bacterial infections in the mouth, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, medicated mouth rinses, and more frequent cleanings.
Brush your teeth with an antimicrobial toothpaste containing fluoride, floss, and rinse with antimicrobial mouthwash at least two times a day. People with diabetes who receive good dental care and have good insulin control typically have a better chance of avoiding gum disease. To improve their quality of life and their oral health, people with diabetes need to pay close attention to diet and exercise. People with diabetes should be sure that both their medical and dental care providers are aware of their medical history and periodontal status. To keep teeth and gums strong, those with diabetes should be aware of their blood sugar levels in addition to having their triglycerides and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.
Best Time to Get Dental Care
If your blood sugar is not under control, talk with both your dentist and physician about receiving elective dental care. Types of dental procedures and appointment length are dependent on the level of diabetic control. Morning dental appointments are best because blood glucose levels tend to be more stable at this time of the day. If you have a scheduled appointment, eat and take your medications as directed. See your dentist on a regular basis and keep him or her informed of your health status.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected]or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.
Published with permission by the Academy of General Dentistry. © Copyright 2010 by the Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved