People often think of diabetes as something that affects other systems in the body. While many people know that it can affect vision, many do not know that it can also affect oral health. If you are diabetic, you may face a higher risk of several oral health problems. The reason it is important to let your Carlsbad dentist know you have diabetes is so your dentist can help you better identify risks and develop the right treatment plan for your specific needs. These are four potential oral health effects related to diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it can take longer for gum disease to heal if you have diabetes. Also, gum disease tends to be more severe for diabetics. When your blood sugar levels are higher, you are more likely to experience extra plaque buildup. That plaque can lead to gum disease, which may be accompanied with rotting teeth and other problems. Gum disease can cause bone density loss and receding gums as well. Preventing gum disease with a more proactive approach is a better option than treating it after it gets worse. Treatment can be costly and time consuming.
Less Saliva Production
Another reason your dentist in Carlsbad will want to know about your diabetes is because it can cause dry mouth. Your saliva is important for promoting good oral health. Saliva helps wash away trapped food in the folds of your mouth or in your teeth. Also, it helps break down food particles in your mouth. Without that important saliva to do its job, that trapped food residue can lead to more plaque buildup and decay.
In addition to the issue mentioned in the previous paragraph, higher blood sugar levels contribute to tooth decay. All the combined effects can leave diabetics with more cavities. They can worsen quickly, and ignoring them can lead to more serious damage to the tooth. Some diabetics lose teeth because of both decay and gum disease.
Many people who suffer from diabetes are prone to infections. When they take antibiotics frequently to treat those infections, they often wind up with thrush. If you are unfamiliar with this condition, it is a fungal infection in the mouth that often comes with a burning sensation on the tongue or throughout the mouth. Because thrush thrives with sugar, the higher blood sugar levels of diabetics can exacerbate the problem.
If you are diabetic and want to help protect your oral health, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for recommended cleanings and evaluations. Solana Family Dental is a trusted Carlsbad dentist for diabetics of all ages. It is also a good choice if you are looking for a dentist in Encinitas or a dentist in Del Mar. The clinic also serves La Jolla, San Diego, La Costa and Solana Beach. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.