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.