Diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infections – making dental patients who live with Diabetes more susceptible to gum and periodontal infections. But it’s not just infections that impact a diabetic’s mouth, as this condition can cause a host of dental concerns.
Diabetes and The Mouth
Family Dentists at Apple Dental Group on Elbow Drive in Calgary explain that living with diabetes doesn’t just involve dealing with elevated blood-sugar levels due to inadequate insulin production but also includes dealing with reduced immunity and chronic inflammation that has an effect on the body as a whole. Poor immunity and heightened inflammatory responses are clearly witnessed in the mouth of a diabetic, as inflamed gums and increased plaque formation, along with bone and gum recession are common signs that appear with this condition. Though the nature of diabetes influences inflammatory responses in the body – the increased production of plaque also contributes to inflammation of oral tissues and subsequent dental issues.
Why Regular Dental Care Is Important
Maintenance and prevention play an important role in controlling the destructive influences of diabetes. Avoiding dental appointments may seem like a good idea if you’ve been neglecting your home care and don’t want to be reminded of the importance of dental treatment – but that only helps in the short term, as staying away from the dentist when you have diabetes can exacerbate conditions. Along with increased plaque and inflammation of oral tissues, diabetics frequently suffer from Xerostomia (dry mouth) a condition that can increase the risk of dental decay due to a lack of saliva to rinse and cleanse the mouth. Excessively dry tissues, along with an increased production of plaque, create the perfect environment for oral bacteria to thrive and cause destruction to teeth and supporting tissues (bone and ligaments). Visiting your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings ensures that oral bacteria are kept to healthy levels and deposits of plaque and calculus are removed, so reducing gum inflammation.
Do Diabetics Require More Frequent Cleanings?
Dr. Shairoz Meghji and her team at Apple Dental Group recommend that patients cleaning schedules be tailored to meet their (patient’s) dental health needs. It is not uncommon for diabetics to require more frequent dental cleanings to address periodontal concerns that often accompany diabetes. Creating a cleaning schedule that serves a patient’s health can be easily discussed with the hygienist during an appointment.