Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the way the body uses blood sugar, also known as glucose. The disease can cause complications throughout the body, including problems with teeth and gums. An increased level of glucose in the saliva is a hallmark of diabetes. This can cause plaque buildup on the teeth, which in turn can lead to gum disease. The disease can cause inflammation in the gums, making them red and swollen. Inflamed gums are also more likely to bleed, which increases the risk of gum disease.
People with diabetes are prone to developing several oral health issues, including gum disease. This is because diabetes can interfere with the body’s ability to control its blood sugar. High levels of glucose in the blood cause the body to excrete more sugar through saliva. The excess sugar then binds with the bacteria in the mouth and causes plaque to form. Plaque buildup leads to tooth decay and is a major cause of gum disease in people with diabetes. When your gums become irritated by the plaque buildup, they pull away from your teeth and cause pockets to develop in the gums. Bacteria settle in these pockets and attack the tissue supporting your teeth’s roots. This eventually results in tooth loss. This is why regular exams and cleanings are incredibly important for diabetics. Some dentists are even able to offer specialized treatments to reduce the progression of gum infections.
What can I expect during a routine dental cleaning if I have diabetes?
The first thing that your dentist will do is conduct an oral exam to look for any signs of gum disease and tooth decay. They will also clean your teeth using an ultrasonic scaler. This instrument removes plaque and tartar buildup without scraping the tooth surfaces or damaging the gums in any way.
During the appointment, you should let your dentist know if you have experienced any changes in your oral health since your last visit. This includes dry mouth, bleeding in the gums, tooth pain, or any other signs. You should also let them know if you are taking any new medications. Certain drugs can cause side effects that affect the teeth and gums. For example, some types of antidepressants have oral dryness properties that can cause dry mouth. Many anti-anxiety medications are also known to cause dry mouth.
For more tips and comprehensive dental care, visit Stonewater Dentistry at 4450 N Tenaya Way, Suite 225, Las Vegas, NV 89129. Call us at (702) 734-5000 for appointments.