Did you know diabetes and dental care are related? This statement comes at a shock to many people. With diabetes becoming more prevalent in today’s society, it is important that dentists know what precautions to take when dealing with diabetic patients.
Diabetes Mellitus is a common group of metabolic diseases that lead to high levels of glucose because the body does not use or create enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the glucose levels in your body and is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates in our bodies. As diabetes is becoming more and more common in modern day society, practicing dentists are likely to encounter it frequently.
Why do dentists need to have special considerations for people with diabetes? Oral manifestations of uncontrolled diabetes can result in many unforeseen complications. Some possible results of unstable diabetes are impaired wound healing, increased severity and quantity of infections, salivary gland enlargement, and gingivitis.
Dentists should always be reviewing a patient’s medical history prior to an appointment and checking for oral signs of uncontrolled diabetes. Key questions a dentist may want to ask a patient before an appointment include:
- Have you taken any medications recently? When? How much?
- How do you monitor your blood sugar levels?
- Have you had any episodes of very low or very high blood sugar recently?
- Do you have any mouth sores or oral discomfort?
- Does your mouth feel dry?
- Do you have any other medical conditions related to your diabetes?
- How often do you see your doctor about your diabetes?
Asking these questions will ensure there is reduced risk and good communication between the dental professional and the patient. Dentists should always think twice about treating an individual with uncontrolled diabetes as the patient may be at increased risk for infection during the appointment.
Coordination with the patient’s physician may also be necessary to determine the patient’s health status and whether dental treatment is safe. To avoid risk, all dental staff should be trained to identify risks in order to identify diabetic patients that might be at risk early.
Do you have diabetes? If you have any questions about how we offer you the best dental care possible, contact our team at Apple Dental Group today!