6 reasons why diabetics need their dental appointments

by

Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes are up to three times more likely to develop dental problems according to DiabetesUK.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of the 3.5 million people who are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.

People who are struggling to control their diabetes are more prone to dental problems…here are some of them.

Gum disease

Gum inflammation and bleeding can occur more easily (gingivitis) and teeth can become loose in the socket of the jaw (periodontitis).

As we with most of the problems listed, this is because the immune system does not function as well for diabetic patients.

The dental team can ensure teeth and gums are monitored and treated regularly as well as advise on how to maintain good oral hygiene.

Tooth decay

Diabetics are more at risk of tooth decay. This may be due to reduced salivary flow (as saliva actually protects teeth from decay).

The dental team can monitor the condition of teeth and existing fillings so that any decay can be caught and managed early. Dietary analysis can be undertaken so as to identify any foods and drinks that may be causing decay.

Routine dental appointments

For people with diabetes, the timing of their dental appointments needs careful consideration.

Appointments should be arranged so that normal meals and medication can be taken during for that day. If meals are skipped or medication not taken correctly, the patient may experience a “hypoglycaemic attack” due to low blood sugar.

This is more likely to happen if the patient is anxious and stressed about dental treatment. So if this is the case, it is best to let the dental team know well in advance so that steps can be taken to make the patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

It is also vital to ensure the dental team are aware of any medication that the patient is on and whether the condition is well controlled or not.

There are other problems that diabetes patient may have that may need referral by your dentist for a specialist opinion:

Dry mouth

Dry mouth may be experienced by patients who have poorly controlled diabetes. This can also cause fungal infections such as oral thrush.

White patches in the mouth

These can arise as side effects from some of the diabetic medication as well as be a sign of an oral fungal infection.

Burning mouth syndrome

This is an unpleasant or abnormal sensation affecting the inside of the mouth, often with no obvious visible cause. This may occur due to having a dry mouth.

About Cleveland Orthodontics

Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East and Teesside, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.

We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.