Caring for your physical health can significantly impact your oral health. If you have diabetes, problems like high blood sugar can affect your teeth and gums. As your Columbus, GA, dentist, we’re here to help you maintain your smile and understand your dental problems. If you have diabetes and notice changes in your smile’s appearance or comfort, we can help. Learn common oral health problems connected to diabetes and how to treat your oral health issues.
Addressing Diabetes and Your Oral Health
Some of the most common dental problems connected to diabetes include:
- Gum disease: This bacterial gum infection affects the gum tissue and can loosen teeth over time. Harmful bacteria are attracted to sugar and starches in the mouth, which is why patients with diabetes and high blood sugar may be at increased risk of gum infections.
- Cavities: High blood sugar levels can also increase the sugar in your saliva. Harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches that cover the teeth. Over time, bacteria can break down the tooth enamel, or outer layer of the tooth, creating pits or holes called cavities.
- Dry mouth: This condition occurs when you do not produce enough saliva. Bacteria thrive in patients with dry mouth, ad patients with diabetes are more at risk of dry mouth.
- Oral Thrush: Thrush is a fungal infection that creates white lesions around your mouth’s lining. Oral thrush creates pain and bleeding in the mouth. Dry mouth can increase the potential of patients to develop oral thrush.
Pregnant patients can also develop gestational diabetes, which occurs when they cannot produce enough insulin during pregnancy. Dental visits are safe for pregnant women; we recommend that pregnant patients make routine visits to help them manage their gum problems. It is also safe for pregnant women to visit for deep gum cleanings to reverse their symptoms.
Protecting Your Smile
The first step to preventing dental problems if you have diabetes is to control your blood sugar levels. Eating a healthy diet and exercising frequently will help. Creating an effective oral hygiene routine will also ensure you keep decay at bay. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day—floss before brushing to remove food and bacteria from between your teeth. Brush for two minutes each time and brush the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth and your gms.
You should also make regular appointments to see your dentist. We will provide screenings for problems like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease at routine visits. Patients with issues like oral thrush can also receive antifungal medication to minimize bleeding and pain.
If you have diabetes and have noticed changes in your oral health, please call (706) 407-4851. You can also schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Caves online.