Understanding Dental Care for Diabetic Patients

By John Rink DDS on February 11, 2016

An older man smilingPatients can put their trust in Dr. John Rink, a leading dentist serving the greater Charleston area. His holistic approach to general dentistry and dental care means considering the unique challenges of each patient and tailoring treatments to meet their needs.

Diabetes Results in Many Health Challenges

If you suffer from diabetes, you face a whole host of health and wellness challenges. This is why it is so important to visit your doctor regularly and follow all medical advice provided.

What a number of diabetics don't realize is that they also face a number of dental health issues related to diabetes. As you are about to read below, these health problems can be quite serious and can lead to a host of issues.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Diabetics experience an increased risk of infection, which is why many diabetics suffer from periodontal disease. This is the result of the oral bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth affecting the gums.

There are three stages of gum disease. From least serious to most serious, they are as follows:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Early symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, discolored gums, bad breath, and gum irritation. If left untreated, gum disease can result in gum recession, loose teeth, tooth loss, and the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth. It's always best to have gum disease treated in its earliest stages.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

In addition to gum disease risks, a diabetic's issues with blood sugar often mean an increased risk of tooth decay as well. This means that cavities may form faster and become more serious sooner. Coupled with an increased risk of gum disease, this could mean very severe health problems moving forward.

Issues with Dry Mouth

On top of gum disease and tooth decay, diabetics often suffer from frequent cases of dry mouth. Not only does dry mouth make eating and speaking more difficult, it can also lead to bad breath and speed up the progression of tooth decay and gum disease.

Problems with Oral Thrush

Another kind of infection that diabetics need to worry about is oral thrush. Oral thrush is a bacterial infection that can affect the inside of the mouth as well as the lips. It's unsightly and unpleasant.

Dental Care Tips for Diabetics

If you suffer from diabetes, be sure to carefully monitor your blood sugar and to follow your doctor's orders about general wellness with regard to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

As far as dental care, keep these oral hygiene tips in mind:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Floss your teeth after every meal
  • Drink water through the day to remain hydrated
  • Do not snack on sugary foods or beverages
  • Avoid tobacco products

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

The most important thing that you can do to ensure the best dental health and general wellness is visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups. This will allow you to get the treatment you need when it is needed most, and to have any minor problems dealt with before they become more serious concerns.

Contact Dr. John Rink

For more information about dental care for diabetic patients and to address other substantive general wellness needs, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry look forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health and wellness.

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