Diabetes and Oral Health Problems

Overview

 During the past ten years, much research has been undertaken on the link between periodontal disease and diabetes. The periodontal disease is the sixth leading complication of diabetes and if you have been diagnosed with it, then you are three to four times more likely to develop it. You are at a higher risk for more severe levels of gum infection and bone loss.

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The more severe form of gum disease is called as periodontitis. When you reach this stage, the gums start to pull away from your teeth. The pockets form between the gums and teeth and these will fill with pus and germs and deepen. When this happens, you;ll need the gum surgery in order to save your teeth. If nothing is done, then the infection will destroy the bone around the teeth. The teeth will then start to move or begin to loose. Then the teeth may fall out or need to be pulled.

Is There an Association Between Gum Disease and Diabetes?

 Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes and most of them may be surprised to learn about the unexpected complicated related with it. As per research, there is an increased prevalence of the gum disease among those with diabetes. It also add serious gum disease to the list of other associated complications such as stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.

 Is There a Two-Way Street?

 The emerging research suggests that the relation between serious gum disease and diabetes is a two way street. People with diabetes are more susceptible to serious gum diseases that have the potential to affect the blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. The research also suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems such as gingivitis which is an early stage of gum disease and periodontitis which is a serious gum disease.

The reason why people with diabetes are at higher risk for serious gum disease is that they are more susceptible to the bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to fight the bacteria which invades the gum. The Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health states that the good oral health is an integral part to the general health. Ensure to brush and floss properly and visit your dentist for regular checkups.

 If I Have Diabetes, am I at Risk for Dental Problems?

 If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled then you are more likely to develop serious gum diseases and lose more teeth than the non-diabetics. Unlike all the infections, serious gum disease may be a factor causing the blood sugar level to rise and make harder to control the diabetes. Other oral health problems related to diabetes are: dry mouth which can cause soreness, ulcers, thrush, an infection caused by fungus which grows in the mouth, infections and cavities.

How Can I Help Prevent Dental Problems Associated with Diabetes?

 Control your blood glucose level. Take good care of the teeth and gums, along with a regular checkup every six months. Maintain good diabetic control to control fungal infection and thrush. Avoid smoking. Remove and clean dentures daily if you wear them. Good blood glucose control helps to prevent or relieve the dry mouth caused by diabetes.

What Can I Expect at My Checkup? Should I Tell My Dental Professional About My Diabetes?

 Dentists and hygienist are equipped to meet the special needs of people with diabetes. Keep your dentists and hygienist informed about any changes in your condition and medication you might be taking. If your blood sugar level is not in good control then postpone any non-emergency dental procedures.

 Source:

What Is the Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Oral Health?

 

Dental Care and Pregnancy

Overview

It is vital for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes which increases the risk of developing gum disease which in turn can affect the health of your developing baby. Here are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during and after pregnancy.

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Before You Get Pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. This will help your teeth to get professionally cleaned, get a careful examination of the gum tissue and get treated for any oral health problems in advance of your pregnancy.

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Dental Care While Pregnant

Tell your dentist or doctor if you are pregnant. You can get your routine dental care at any time during pregnancy and any urgent procedure can be done as well. However, all elective dental procedures should be postponed until after delivery. Before your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if she has any special instructions or precautions for you.

  • Tell your dentist about the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking currently, including the medications and the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist will need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information.
  • Do not skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnancy. This is the time during which regular periodontal or gum exams since pregnancy causes hormonal changes which put you at increased risk of periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis in which tender gums bleed easily. Pay attentional to any changes in the gums during pregnancy. Talk with your dentist or periodontist if tenderness, gum swelling or bleeding occurs at any time during pregnancy.
  • Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby such as thyroid and shielding your abdomen. Today advances in technology have made X-rays much safer than in the past decades.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce the oral health problems.

Coping with Morning Sickness

  • If morning sickness keeps you from brushing your teeth then change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.

Eating Right for Your Teeth and Baby

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Include dairy products, yogurt and cheese as they are a good source of essential minerals and good for baby’s developing gums, teeth and bones.
  • Avoid sugary snacks. Although sweet cravings are very common during pregnancy. Keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay.

After You’ve Had Your Baby

If you have experienced any gum problems during pregnancy, then see your dentist soon after delivery to get your entire mouth examined. Also get evaluation of your periodontal health.

Conclusion

You have so much to think when it comes to pregnancy from how you are going to decorate the baby’s room to what you are going to name the baby, to the diapers and bottles and bibs you are going to need. Well, with all these things to think during pregnancy, ensure to keep your health and well being on the list and this includes your mouth as well.

Dental care questions during pregnancy are common among the expecting moms. Annual exams and preventive dental cleanings are not only safe during pregnancy but are strongly recommended. Keeping your mouth healthy will help to keep you healthy which will help to keep your baby healthy. Brushing and flossing contributes to your overall health. Hence, it is quite essential to get the dental care during pregnancy.

 Source:

Teeth for Two: Oral Health During Pregnancy

Top oral cavity changes during pregnancy