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The Many Oral Health Issues of Diabetics

Posted on 7/15/2015 by Truman Nielsen
A doctor holding up a red chalkboard with the words diabetes written on it.Dealing with diabetes brings with it many complications, including oral health complications. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you could find that you suffer from a variety of issues as a result of your disease. While gum disease is one of the largest risks of patients with diabetes, there are many other risks that you must be aware of and know how to handle in order to ensure optimal health.

Infections in the Mouth

One of the most common concerns of patients with diabetes is the risk of being unable to fight off infection in the mouth. There are many different types of infections that can occur, but they each have similar symptoms including:

•  Swollen or tender gums
•  Odd patches in the mouth
•  Pain in the mouth, whether the teeth, gums, or cheeks

Difficulty Healing
If you have diabetes and have to have any type of dental procedures completed, you could find that it is more difficult for your mouth to heal. This is a concern for many patients as it puts them at risk for infection after having dental surgery.

It is important that we are aware of the fact that you have diabetes before any type of procedure so that we can ensure that the proper precautions are taken to protect your health. In general, this means taking antibiotics before, during, and after a procedure, but other more drastic measures can be taken in certain circumstances.

It is important to understand that you may not heal as well as someone without diabetes that has the same procedure completed. You need to ensure that you take proper care of your mouth and do not let an infection settle in as a result. Keeping your mouth clean and dry is the key to a healthy mouth after dental surgery.

Lack of Saliva
Oftentimes people with diabetes have a hard time producing enough saliva. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including mismanaged blood sugar levels and as a side effect of certain medications.

A lack of saliva can put you at risk for a variety of issues, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to enhance your saliva production and increase your body's ability to fight off infection:

•  Drink more water. If you feel like you have a dry mouth, you are already dehydrated. Try to drink at least eight (8) ounce glasses of water a day.
•  Ask your doctor to change your medication to see if your saliva production changes. Sometimes just a small change in the type or even just the dose can have a great impact on the amount of saliva you produce.
•  Chew sugar-free gum if your doctor approves it. Gum can help to stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to wash the bad bacteria from your mouth, decreasing the risk of decay and infection in your mouth.

Being a diabetic means that you have many other oral health issues to watch out for than someone that does not have diabetes. It does not mean that you are doomed to poor oral health though. With the right changes to your oral hygiene and diet, you can ensure that your oral health stays in good condition.

If you have any questions about how to care for your oral health or what you can do to make your oral health better with diabetes, please call our office for an appointment. Our staff is ready to help you get your physical and oral health back on track!
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2204 E 29th Ave Suite 208
Spokane, WA 99203

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Fawson Dentistry - Truman Nielsen, DMD, 2204 E 29th Ave, Spokane, WA, 99223 - Tags: dentist Spokane WA : Spokane Dentist : dentist Spokane WA : (509) 822-2079 : : 3/23/2018