Dental Concerns of the Diabetic Patient

Diabetics and The Dental Risks They Face

Time and again, dental practitioners see diabetics coming in for consultation and treatment for any of the various issues that concern ordinary, non-diabetic persons. While issues are the same and that may require similar approaches, the medical condition of diabetes mellitus is an added burden that makes treatment much more challenging. Both dentist and patient take more precautions and enter into a higher level of commitment for treatment plan success.

Diabetics are generally poor wound healers. Due to often times uncontrolled blood sugar levels, these patients cannot just have tooth extractions, root canal therapy, implantation, ordinary prophylaxis or any surgery. They need meticulous preparations to ready them for such procedures. For example, diabetics need to normalize their blood sugar first before a dental procedure as the resultant wound tend to heal very slowly. In that time, complications may also arise.

These patients also suffer from dry mouth syndrome. It is an effect of the disease. With no or very little saliva, the diabetic’s teeth are more prone to bacterial attack, starting cavities and tooth decay. Saliva is supposed to help hydrate the mouth, washing away food debris and disabling colonization of bacteria. The patient needs to take fluids or water constantly. Likewise, due to dry mouth, ulcers are common, appearing on gums and soft tissue.

Periodontal disease is more common among diabetics. It is in fact considered a complication of diabetes. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications, from nerve paralysis to blindness, kidney disease, heart attack or stroke. Dentists and doctors agree that control of blood sugar is the best protection against periodontal disease.

If diabetics are compliant with their medications, insulin, exercise, and proper nutrition, they can expect to live normal lives. If they are into foot care, eye examinations, they must also mind their dental health. Regular dental visits are a must, cleanings, and proper oral hygiene at home, to keep their risks at bay.

Caring for the Diabetic Patient in Bellingham

Bellingham dentistry believes that the diabetic patient who takes care of his oral health as well as his other concerns is a happier, healthier patient leading a normal life. For a consultation, give us a call.

Dental Implants: Replacement for Missing Teeth

Are You an Ideal Candidate for Implants?

Currently, many dentists and patients are embracing dental implants when fixed bridges and removable dentures used to be popular choices for missing teeth. This treatment gives a natural look and feel in the mouth, protects healthy bone and keeps natural teeth in place. With their predictable outcomes, they are built to last a lifetime.

Are you a good candidates for dental implants?

If you have healthy gums, sufficient and good quality bone in your jaw, and a commitment to proper oral hygiene, you can make a fine candidate for implants. Some may not be ideal candidates, but that depends on your dentist’s judgment and the severity of the patient’s condition. Still it is the health of your gums and jaw bone that counts.

Young patients, whose bones are still growing and lacking maturity, are not ideal for implants; nor are heavy smokers, excessive alcohol users, those who’ve had high-dose radiation to the head and neck, and those with severely depressed immune system. With implant surgery, their healing will significantly slow down, possibly contributing to implant failure.

Other patient groups not ideal for dental implants are pregnant women whose consistency of teeth and gums have altered, teeth grinders, chronic or systemic disease sufferers like those with uncontrolled diabetes, connective-tissue disease, and hemophilia. Bleeding gums, brittleness of bone, and frequent infections jeopardize implant treatment success.

Depending on the dentist’s discretion and after proper evaluation, these patients can still be candidates. As long as there is still sufficient quantity and quality of jaw bone, adequately healthy gum tissue to work on, implants can still be an option for your missing teeth.

Implants for Missing Teeth in Bellingham

Are you ready for implants? If you are committed to proper oral hygiene and regular follow-ups, know from your Bellingham dentist if you are a candidate for dental implants.

Keeping Regular Dental Appointments: A Good Habit

When is Your Next Dental Appointment?

Something is always keeping you from making it, isn’t it? You think that since you’re into good oral hygiene – best choice toothbrush, paste and floss, proper techniques, faithful regularity – you may not need to see the dentist yet. However, that does not guarantee a caries-free existence.

Though it can significantly reduce your risks for developing tooth decay, you cannot make accurate assessment of each tooth state of health as a professional can. You are likely to miss beginning cavities, misjudge gum swelling, or not know root and jawbone conditions. Regular dental appointments take the guesswork out of oral health maintenance.

The American Dental Association recommends you come for visits every six months. That’s because it’s essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Consider dental check ups for regular cleaning at least twice a year. It’s a standard hygiene routine so that your dentist gets to see any forming disease state of your oral structures.

As part of a thorough dental examination, each tooth will be examined for tooth decay, cracks, misalignment, or discoloration He will pay special attention to plaque and tartar because they can build up in a very short time especially if oral hygiene is poor. The health of your gums will be evaluated, he’ll perform a head and neck examination, a face examination, and look into the mouth for any indications of diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or oral cancer. He will also include examination of your saliva, bite, and jaw movement.

Aside from health and cosmetic reasons, regular appointments are small dental lessons to keep in mind. You will learn about the pros and cons of certain habits you may have acquired that will impact dental health, and will be trained to look at signs and symptoms of potential hazards.

Keeping Dental Appointments in Bellingham

Over at Dr. Tetrick, we help you remember your appointments with our regular and friendly follow-ups. Visits to us can turn into a healthy habit, being your health partners every step of the way.