Diabetics and Oral Health
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
Those who have recently developed diabetes could experience a variety of symptoms. One of these symptoms is bleeding gums. Those who suffer from bleeding gums should not only visit a dentist, but should also consider visiting the doctor's office to determine if they have diabetes.
Patients who suddenly discover that they have diabetes will have to make many sudden changes to manage their blood sugar levels and avoid some of the serious negative effects of diabetes.
Oral Health and Diabetes
Diabetics are at a higher risk of oral health problems such as gum disease and are also more likely to see the disease progress further than a non-diabetic. Diabetics who experience the symptoms of oral decay should not delay when visiting a dentist. Symptoms of oral decay may include sensitivity, pain, inflammation, bad breath and discomfort in the mouth. Also, it is important to keep an eye on the gums to be aware of any signs of receding near the teeth.
More severe symptoms of gum disease include dark spots on the gums, pain throughout the mouth or sinus area, sensitivity to cold and sweets that cause pain and white or red patches on the gums, tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth. Read this article to learn more about gum disease.
Proper Oral Care Techniques
Diabetics are more vulnerable to oral decay because they are more susceptible to bacterial infections. Not only are they more susceptible to gum disease, but they tend to lose more teeth than non-diabetics with the same level of gum disease. Patients must make sure that they floss every day and brush their teeth after every meal to make sure that bacteria aren't able to infect the gums.
The most effective approach toward oral hygiene is for people to brush their teeth at a 45-degree angle away from the gum line. All the teeth should be brushed gently on all exposed surfaces. The tongue should also be brushed to remove bacteria and to improve breath.
When flossing, the floss should be slid up and down the sides of the teeth and wrapped around the base of each tooth to dislodge food and bacteria that can lead to infections.
Regular Check-ups are Necessary
Diabetics should also have regular dental checkups to be proactive against potential problems, such as a fungal infection. The diabetic should inform his or her dentist about the condition so that the dentist can make adjustments and provide medical treatments targeted specifically for diabetics. For example, patients who undergo oral surgery will likely need antibiotics to make sure that an infection does not set in after the surgery. A diabetic might also have to change the timing of his or her meals and insulin dosage to correspond with the surgery. Blood sugar levels should be stabilized before surgery commences.
Toothpaste for Diabetics
Diabetics who want to minimize the risk of developing gum disease should use toothpaste that is highly antibacterial so that bacterial infections can be quickly treated or avoided. Oral care products for those with diabetes should also have no sugar so that they do not contribute to diabetes. All TheraBreath® products are sugar free, making it easier for those with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels low. Click here to view TheraBreath® sugar-free toothpaste products.
Anti-bacterial oral care products are crucial for diabetics after surgery, for those who suffer from sores caused by thrush, highly acidic foods, those who have sustained an injury to the mouth. Wounds heal much more slowly for those who suffer from diabetes and do not have the condition under control. Those who have severe sores that do not appear to go away might need more significant medical intervention, such as oral treatments and chemical cauterization. Burning the sores with chemicals will not only eliminate the pain associated with the sores, but will also speed up healing. These treatment options should only be prescribed by a physician with a complete understanding of the patient's medical history and the potential complications that could result from the procedures.
Sugar-Free Gum for Diabetics by TheraBreath®
Other products that can be helpful for those with diabetes include sugar-free gum. A major problem that patients can suffer from is a dry mouth and a sugar free gum can help to keep the mouth moist. A dry mouth allows the buildup of bacteria that produce acids that can contribute to cavities and oral decay. However, saliva glands will wash away many of these acids, reducing their negative effect. Dry mouth, which may commonly be caused by diabetic medications and high blood sugar levels, makes it easier for bacteria to erode teeth and form an infection, which can eventually destroy the bone structure under the teeth and cause them to fall out.
Sugar-free gum will stimulate the saliva glands to produce more saliva. However, gum with sugar in it will not only raise the blood sugar levels, but will contribute to bacterial growth and oral decay.
Toothbrushes should be as gentle as possible to avoid causing damage to the gums and teeth. Heavy brushing can erode the enamel on the teeth and contribute to the formation of cavities. Cavities provide bacteria with an opportunity to infect the tooth and cause a variety of health problems including bad breath, tooth loss and pain. Soft brushes have a unique design and are often tapered. Interdental brushes are more likely to remove food and plaque in between the teeth, supplementing the benefits of flossing.
Oral Rinses / Mouthwash
Mouthwash is helpful when removing bacteria in the mouth. Diabetics should be sure to select oral rinse mouthwash products that are sugar-free. TheraBreath® provides oral rinse solutions that are both alcohol-free and sugar-free.
More Information on Diabetes and Oral Care
To learn more about Diabetes and Oral Care, visit the links below:
Diabetes and Gingivitis (http://blog.therabreath.com/tag/diabetes-and-gingivitis/)
Diabetes and Gum Disease (http://blog.therabreath.com/2009/06/diabetes-and-gum-disease/)