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The Dental Studio-Tips for Diabetics to ensure Dental Health

Diabetes is a disease that affects the entire body.  Poorly controlled blood sugars can cause a higher risk of oral health problems, so it is important for diabetics to pay particular attention to dental care.  Dr Jaco Smith and his team at The Dental Studio, offer the following tips to diabetics, to ensure good oral hygiene, spot the signs of any dental problems, and advise on information they should share with their dentist or hygienist.

Day to Day Healthcare Tips for Diabetics

  • Keep blood sugar as close to normal as possible.
  • Visit the dentist or hygienist at least every six months, but follow their advice if he or she recommends more frequent visits.
  • Brush your teeth, preferably after every meal, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, or at least twice a day, including before going to sleep.
  • To keep bacteria from growing on your toothbrush, rinse it after each brushing and store it upright with the bristles at the top.
  • Have a new toothbrush at least every 3 months, or as soon as the bristles are out of shape, or after an infection
  • Floss between your teeth every day to remove tooth deacyaing plaque – your hygienist will recommend the best methods and show you how
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to stop

Common Dental Problems for Diabetics

  • Dry mouth or Xerostomia - uncontrolled diabetes decreases saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. This can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, tooth decay, and cavities.
  • Gum inflammation - gingivitis and periodontitis. Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection.  Diabetes affects white blood cell function which fights infection.  It also causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth.  Diabetics may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
  • Poor healing of oral tissues. People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site may be inhibited.
  • Thrush - diabetics who frequently take antibiotics to fight various infections are especially prone to developing fungal infections of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva.  One of the symptoms of thrush is a burning mouth and/or tongue.
  • Smoking - diabetics who smoke are at higher risk of developing thrush and periodontal disease. Smoking seems to affect blood flow to the gums which in turn leads to poor healing.
  • Cholesterol - diabetes can cause a build up of cholesterol in the blood stream.  Poor oral hygiene causes bacteria to flow into the blood stream which can lead to intensifying blood clotting.

Dental Visits

  • A diabetic should try not to stress about dental visits as this will cause blood sugar levels to rise.
  • Inform your dentist or hygienist that you are diabetic, the medication (and dosage) you are taking and your current status, eg give your HgA1C level which determines how well controlled your diabetes is (good control is under 7%).
  • See your diabetes doctor before scheduling treatment for periodontal disease. Ask your doctor to talk to your dentist or periodontist about your overall medical condition before any dental treatment is performed. If oral surgery is planned, your doctor or dentist will tell you if you need to take any pre-surgery antibiotics or need to change your meal schedule or the timing and dosage of your insulin.
  • Be sure to give your dentist your diabetes doctor's name and contact details to include on your personal file. This information will then be readily accessible should any questions or concerns arise.
  • Postpone non-urgent dental care procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control. However, acute infections, such as abscesses, should be treated as soon as possible.
  • Follow your dentist's post-treatment instructions closely.
  • If you have braces contact your orthodontist immediately if a wire or bracket results in a cut to the tongue or mouth.
  • Since high blood sugar levels can also affect the time your teeth take to heal, you may need antibiotics to prevent infection.

Posted by : Dubai PR Network Editorial Team
Viewed 18337 times
PR Category : Healthcare & Medicine
Posted on : Saturday, July 6, 2013  12:59:00 AM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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