In this month’s blog we are looking to put to rest some of the common misconceptions about oral health problems and diabetes.
Myth – People with diabetes are at greater risk for dental cavities
There are two possible thoughts on this topic.
- Some people believe that high glucaose leves in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes helps bacteria thrive. This leads to the development of cavities and gum disease. Also people with diabetes tend to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This increases the chance for bacteria to grow and caivities to develop.
- The other group believe that people with diabetes know more about what to eat and the need to closely monitor their sugar intake. They also have a very low intake of foods containing cavitiy causing sugar.
The fact is that people whose diabetes is well-controlled have no more tooth decay or periodontal disease than people without diabetes. Good oral hygiene and good blood sugar control are the best protection against cavity formation and gum disease.
Myth – People with diabetes lose their teeth more often and sooner that people with out diabetes
Many factors play a role in tooth loss in people with diabetes. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to the development of gum disease. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that anchors the teeth.
By practising good oral hygiene, by brushing at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains flouride, using interdental cleaning aids daily and keeping your blood suagrs under control – the potential for infection from gum disease will be greatly reduced or eliminated and so will the risk of tooth loss..
Myth – People with diabetes are more at risk of post surgical complications
By keeping your bood sugar as close to normal as possible and by following all post operative instructions. Problems after surgery are no more likely in people with diabetes than in those with the disease.
Diabetes – oral health advice
- Brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush and flouride toothpaste twice a day and use interdental cleaning aids daily.
- Attend for regular, routine dental appointmentsas often as the dentist
- Keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible
- Be sure to give your dentist, your doctor’s name and phone number. This means they can contact them should they have any concerns regarding your treatment.
- Be sure to keep your dentist informed about any medication changes.
- Postpone non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not under control.
- Keep in mind that healing might take longer. Follow your dentist’s post-treatment instructions closely.