At Edgewood Dental Care we value each and every one of our patients. We’ve long had a practice philosophy of individual and unique treatment for all the patients we see and that includes taking special care of our diabetic patients.
Just like all the other specialized health needs that come with having diabetes your mouth needs to be specially looked after as well. For National Diabetes Awareness Month we want to help you understand the risks to your oral health and what we can do together to prevent them!
The Risks For Diabetics
As a diabetic patient you’re probably aware of the increased risk of infections and the harder time you have fighting them. This is a problem in your mouth – there’s over 300 different strains of bacteria that make a home there! They exist in the form of plaque, that sticky white film that builds up in your mouth each day.
Plaque bacteria aren’t all bad but enough of them are! Those bad ones turn sugars into acids that ruin your teeth and harm your gums – the latter being your big problem. When bacteria gets under the gumline it’s impossible to remove by brushing or flossing. That leads to gum disease, which can be hard to treat for diabetic patients!
What Is Gum Disease?
Once that bacteria has made its way under your gums it starts to spread. This causes your body to react to an infection with inflammation in the gums, hence the redness, swelling, and bleeding that you see with early gingivitis.
In most parts of the body inflammation is a beneficial effect that fights infection and helps speed recovery but not in your mouth, and especially not for diabetic patients! Oral inflammation from gum disease continues on and on, eventually leading to gum recession and the formation of deep, bacteria filled pockets.
Once that early gingivitis develops into full-fledged periodontitis you’ll probably notice loosening of your teeth, a bite change, and eventual tooth loss. It doesn’t have to be this way, though! We can help you prevent and treat this condition – an essential part of caring for your mouth as a diabetic!
Gum disease, like most oral health problems, is largely preventable. It just takes a lot of extra care for diabetic patients! Much of the preventive techniques we use are the same we’ll use for you but there’s the added need for more frequency and a few extra steps.
It’s very important that you’re brushing at least twice a day and flossing in the evening. When you do this keep an eye out for any physical changes in the appearance of your gums and any bleeding that may occur during brushing or flossing. This is a sign of early gum disease and if you see these signs you should call our Edgewood dentist office right away!
It’s also essential that you closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients who have “uncontrolled” diabetes are at a much higher risk for developing gum disease that’s hard to treat! Excess blood glucose can make it much harder for your body to fight inflammation and infection.
Visits Edgewood Dental Care
Our care schedule for most patients is an exam and cleaning every six months. This might be true for you too, but in many cases we prefer at-risk patients to come in more often. We’ll discuss all the particulars of your health and diabetes’ effect on your teeth and gums when we next see you.
Because of the risks faced by diabetic patients we want to make sure you know to tell us you have diabetes! No we can always treat gum disease for all patients but our treatment methods may differ or include extra steps if you are at risk for secondary or recurring infection. Your oral health is our goal and we can’t do it best without your help!
Don’t Wait – Being Seen Is Important!
Your continued oral health is directly tied to good care at home and regular visits to our Edgewood dentist office. Don’t wait to be seen if you’re at risk or showing early signs of gum disease!