How does diabetes affect your teeth and Gums?
The presence of too much glucose in the blood due to diabetes and dental problems can turn out to become the cause of many dental problems. The issues can range from pain, infection and many such other issues. The parts of your mouth that are affected by diabetes are the teeth, gums, jaw, and tissues of the tongue including the insides of your cheeks. Glucose is present in the saliva, and when diabetes goes out of hand, it results in high glucose levels in the mouth. These bacteria end up forming a soft and sticky layer on the tooth. It ultimately leads to tooth decay, cavities, gum diseases and bad breath. This is the leading cause of many infections, predominantly of the teeth and gums. Diabetes can become the cause of pain and soreness in the gums, jaws, tissues, teeth, and tongue. People often wonder how diabetes gets invariably linked to teeth problems. The fact is that when diabetes is at an advanced stage, it leads to an increase in the glucose content of mouth. This glucose content is the highest in the saliva leading to the formation of bacteria in the mouth. This bacterium creates a sticky layer on the tooth that builds up with time. The end result is bad breath, cavities, gum diseases and tooth decay.
The answer to can you lose your teeth with diabetes
A severe form of gum disease called periodontal syndrome occurs as a result of diabetes. This is the stage where your gums start to pull away from the teeth. There are pockets formed between your gums and teeth. The pockets deepen when they get filled with germs and pus. When the condition of your teeth reaches this point, the only way is gum surgery. If you get late in performing the gum surgery, then there are chances of losing your teeth.
The relationship between gum problems and diabetes
There is a high chance of having many complications regarding gum health if you have diabetes. The gums start to get sore as a result of the increase in glucose in the mouth. There is the constant issue with throbbing gum pain. The gums begin to swell up and if the condition persists then the teeth start to get loose as a result. The redness of gums as a result of the bacterial activity is another leading effect of high diabetes.
Learn more about tooth organ relation Diagram
The case of worsening diabetic conditions
It has already gotten mentioned that patients with high blood sugar run the risk of plaque in the teeth. This plaque hardens into tartar in the mouth. The tartar collects above the gum line. This condition is known as gingivitis which is the first stage of periodontitis. This is the kind of infection that can last a long time, and the ability of your body to fight the disease gets gradually reduced. The result is the falling out of the teeth.
Are dental implants safe for people with diabetes?
Many people tend to hold off dental implants due to the fact of high diabetes. Studies suggest that dental implants are safe for the patients with diabetes. Researchers have seen that the implants in the patients with diabetes did not fail even after a year. This is the proof that elevated blood sugars have no direct relation with implants. In fact, in some of the cases of high blood sugar, the implants become a necessity as the tooth problems worsen to that effect.
The reason why diabetes got considered a health hazard in case of implants is that of the notion that in patients with diabetes the wounds take longer to heal. But the studies have proved that the implants do not affect the health of the implants. So if you are planning on implants while being a diabetes patient, you can stay carefree that way.
The Periodontal Diseases
The most common form of teeth problem faced by the people with diabetes around the world is Periodontitis. It is an infection that develops in the gum and in the bone that holds the teeth in place. If the blood glucose level is left unchecked, it can lead to worsening of the periodontal disease.
In this disease, gaps form between the gum and teeth which get filled with germs and pus with time. In the first stage after this problem hits you, chewing will become difficult. When the condition worsens, you will start losing your teeth. The only way to save you in this situation is getting a gum surgery performed as soon as possible.
The Candidiasis disorder
This is another major problem suffered by the patients with diabetes all over. This condition starts due to the attack of fungi that feeds on glucose. These fungi attacks on the gums, roof of the mouth and tongue. These are red patches formed on all of these parts. You must immediately visit your dentist if this condition hits and persists. The dentist will give you anti-fungal medicines to cure you of the condition.
Candidiasis is also another effect of diabetes. In this case, the red patches get formed on the gums due to the growth of fungus that feeds on the glucose. The red spots also get seen on the roof of the mouth and tongue. The only way to save yourself from this condition is the immediate visit to your dentist who will give you anti-fungal medicines.
The plaque formation in teeth
As has already been said, patients with diabetes have the issue of formation of plaque in the teeth. Plaque is the yellowish layer that forms due to increase in bacterial activity in the mouth. This plaque hardens to form tartar in the mouth. Tartar is a substance that collects above the gum line. This condition called gingivitis is the first step of periodontitis. This infection is something that lasts long, and at times it leads to a diminishing of the body’s ability to fight infections. This leads to falling out of your teeth in time.
Diabetes leading to gum problems
Gum health is something that gets severely affected by diabetes. Many complications arise on the gums as a result of diabetes. The increase of glucose in the mouth leads to a soreness of the gums. The nagging issue faced is the pain in the gums that refuses to go away. On a more advanced level, the gums start to swell up, and the teeth begin to get loose as a result. Another effect seen in the diabetic people is the redness of the gums which happens due to the attack of bacteria on the gums.
The common tooth signs that you have diabetes
- Dry mouth syndrome: This is the surest sign that a person has diabetes. The mouth feels dry as there is no saliva in the mouth. The dry mouth can be the cause of many problems like infections, ulcers and tooth decay. You can check with your doctor if this condition persists. He will tell you for sure if you have diabetes or this is the result of some other medication or state that you have. There are medications to treat this problem, and there is even artificial saliva available on the market. The dry mouth contributes to periodontal disease.
- Oral burning syndrome: The uncontrolled levels of glucose in the blood lead to the condition of oral burning. There is a bitter taste that comes with a burning sensation of the mouth. This gets accompanied by a dryness of the mouth. These symptoms worsen as time goes on
- The thrush syndrome: Thrush is a kind of fungus that builds up in the oral cavity. Wearing of dentures or smoking increases the chances of thrush. Diabetes is the condition that compounds this problem. Patients get given an oral suspension to swish and swallow sometimes in a day to cure this condition. To rectify this situation, you can take up several precautions. The first thing is cleaning your dentures regularly. You must stop using tobacco products and smoke immediately to get relief from this infection.
- Other common symptoms of diabetic patients: There are several different symptoms too that speak of having high glucose content in the blood. The first of the many signs is mouth ulcer or sores that just refuse to heal. You get the sensation of constant pain in the mouth or jaw or even in the face. There are dark spots or holes noticed in the teeth, and with time you start to lose teeth due to the loosening of the gums. The sensation of pain in the gums at the time of chewing is another indication of diabetes. There is a constant bad taste in the mouth or a change of taste in the mouth. You will also experience bad breath that just refuses to go away no matter how many times you brush.
Cavities not being an issue with the diabetics
Cavities are not an issue with those who are suffering from type 1 diabetes. If diabetes gets controlled well, then even the children who have diabetes will have fewer cavities that those who do not. The primary cause behind this is the lack of sugar in their diet. Regardless of whether being a kid or an adult, the people who have diabetes avoid raw sugar and sweets in their daily food. This is a good thing as it keeps the cavities away from compounding the tooth problems.
Seeing the dentist if you are diabetic
You need to follow specific routines when it comes to the dentist if you are a diabetic person. You must keep seeing the dentist every six months for the regular checkup. X-rays and cleaning are cleaning are equally important. In case you need to take up any treatment, make sure that you keep your blood sugar level in control before starting. Let your dentist know that you have diabetes and also inform him of the medications that you are already taking
Take the bottles of insulin or other medications along with you when you are visiting your dentist. You can show them to your dentist to give them a better idea of your condition. Always eat something before visiting your dentist. You would not want to land up ill at the clinic due to low blood glucose levels.
In case there is a long waiting time at the dentist, it will get help if you carry some food with you. Do not get nervous if you are at the clinic to get any procedures done. You can talk to the nurses and other dental staff about your concerns. They get to handle so many nervous patients in a day that they are well versed in calming people down. The stress leads to an increase in the cortisol levels, and that compounds the problem of blood sugar. Take a deep breath and let your dentist handle the issues.
Diabetes and dental implants
High diabetes is something that makes many people hold off getting dental implants. The researchers have suggested that patients with diabetes are safe for dental implants. In most cases, the implants did not fail even after a year in the diabetic patients. The elevated blood sugar levels do not directly impact the implants. The implants might become a necessity in most cases due to the worsening of the tooth problems.
The precautions to take before oral surgery
The following three precautions must get taken if you are planning any oral surgery.
- Talk to your dentist about your medication and insulin if any oral surgery is coming up. Discuss all the details of your meal planning, the timing of meal and dosage of medicines.
- Check the blood glucose levels before visiting your dentist. Inform your dentist of the present blood sugar levels.
- Postpone the procedure if there is a high sugar level. You can go through the process again after your sugar levels have neutralized.
The top dental tips for the diabetic patients
To stay away from any periodontal diseases, the following tips must get followed by patients diligently.
- Brushing and flossing. You must start using non-fluoride toothpaste if you are suffering from high levels of diabetes. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in a circular motion twice day. Change your toothbrush every three months and do not forget to clean your tongue too while brushing. You must also floss every day without fail. Start flossing along the line of the gums and up along each tooth. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after flossing. Continue doing this even if the gums bleed as the gums will toughen up in time. You can use a dental pick as well to clean between teeth.
- Clean dentures. Forgetting to clean your dentures is another leading cause of many dental problems. Clean them regularly and remember to remove them at night. You must make sure that you get the dentures adjusted if they do not fit right. The loose dentures can lead to accumulation of germs and bacteria and compound the teeth problems.
- Mouth Rinse. You must use an anti-plaque mouth rinse to keep away any problems of plaque buildup on the teeth. The other alternative to mouth rinse is the use of fluoridated water or fluoride rinse. This not only prevents plaque formation but keeps the teeth safe from decaying as well.
- Blood glucose levels. Make sure you keep the blood glucose levels within a target range that has gotten specified by your doctor. Inform your dentist about this number. Keep checking your blood sugar levels regularly to make sure that you are within permissible levels.
- Visiting the dentist. Most of us have the common habit of not attending the dentist till any problem hits us. By the time the problem starts worsening, it is already too late for the dentist to get to able to do anything. It is true that you must visit the dentist when any bad tooth problem comes up. But the best way is to keep up a regular visit to the dentist. Maintain a cycle of six months checkup and cleaning for best results.
Things to do to avoid getting dentures
No one wishes to go for the dentures if they have the choice of keeping their permanent teeth. The real purpose is to keep the continuous teeth healthy by taking good care of them. You can apparently take all the measures that have gotten mentioned above. There is something additional too that you can do. You can use something called the red disclosure tablet. They are available in all the medicine shops. They stain any plaque stuck to the teeth as red. So you get to see the spot that you missed. You can brush away that plaque with ease. Keep checking your mouth at regular intervals if you have diabetes. Do not just leave all of it to the dentist.
The details of dental insurance
Many people are not aware of more information on dental insurance. The out of pocket expenses and dental fixtures can get expensive if you do not have dental insurance. You can also pay the bills from the health saving account that gets provided by your office. If none of these works for you, then look for a dentist that works on a payment plan. You can also search for centers that offer discounted rates for the daily checkup and procedures. You will want to prevent the periodontal diseases and other such illnesses at any rate if you have diabetes.