How can diabetes affect my mouth?
Too much glucose, also called sugar, in your blood from diabetes can cause pain, infection, and other problems in your mouth. Your mouth includes
Ø your teeth
Ø your gums
Ø your jaw
Ø Tissues such as your tongue, the roof and bottom of your mouth, and the inside of your cheeks
Glucose is present in your saliva—the fluid in your mouth that makes it wet. When diabetes isn't controlled, high glucose levels in your saliva help harmful bacteria grow. These bacteria combine with food to make a soft, sticky film called plaque. Plaque also comes from eating foods that contain sugars or starches. Some sorts of plaque cause cavity or cavities. Other sorts of plaque cause gum disease and bad breath.
What happens if I have plaque?
Plaque that's not removed hardens over time into tartar and collects above your gum line. Tartar makes it more difficult to brush and clean between your teeth. Your gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily—signs of unhealthy or inflamed gums, called gingivitis.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to gum disease called periodontitis. In periodontitis, the gums shy away from the teeth and form spaces, called pockets, which slowly become infected. This infection can last a long time. Your body fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Both the bacteria and your body’s response to this infection start to break down the bone and the tissue that hold the teeth in place. If periodontitis is not treated, the gums, bones, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. Teeth may become loose and might need to be removed. If you have periodontitis, your dentist may send you to a periodontist, an expert in treating gum disease.
What are the most common mouth problems from diabetes?
Symptoms of a problem in your mouth are
Ø A sore, or an ulcer, that does not heal
Ø Dark spots or holes in your teeth
Ø Pain in your mouth, face, or jaw that doesn’t go away
Ø Loose teeth
Ø Pain when chewing
Ø A changed sense of taste or a bad taste in your mouth
Ø Bad breath that doesn’t go away when you brush your teeth
How can I prepare for a visit to my dentist?
Plan ahead. Talk together with your doctor and dentist before the visit about the simplest thanks to lookout of your blood sugar during dental work.
You may be taking a diabetes medicine which will cause low blood sugar , also called hypoglycemia. If you're taking insulin or other diabetes medicines, take them and eat as was common before visiting the dentist. You may got to bring your diabetes medicines and your snacks or meal with you to the dentist’s office.
You may got to postpone any nonemergency dental work if your blood sugar isn't in check .If you are feeling nervous about visiting the dentist, tell your dentist and therefore the staff about your feelings. Your dentist can adapt the treatment to your needs. Don’t let your nerves stop you from having regular checkups. Waiting too long to take care of your mouth may make things worse.
What if my mouth is sore after my dental work?
A sore mouth is common after dental work. If this happens, you might not be able to eat or chew the foods you normally eat for several hours or days.
Ø what foods and drinks you should have
Ø if you should change the time when you take your diabetes medicines
Ø if you should change the dose of your diabetes medicines
Ø how often you should check your blood glucose
How does smoking affect my mouth?
Smoking makes problems with your mouth worse. Smoking raises your chances of getting gum disease, oral and throat cancers, and oral fungal infections. Smoking also discolors your teeth and makes your breath smell bad.
Smoking and diabetes are a dangerous mix. Smoking raises your risk for many diabetes problems. If you quit smoking,
Ø you will lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, nerve disease, kidney disease, and amputation
Ø your cholesterol and blood pressure levels might improve
Ø your blood circulation will improve
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