Diabetes is a common condition affecting the body’s ability to produce insulin. Currently, nearly 16 million Americans have received a diabetes diagnosis, with Type 2 occurring most frequently. Diabetes can have a number of complications, especially when not properly controlled. Nerve damage is quite common, and many patients report neuropathy, particularly in their extremities. Additionally, there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, skin infections, eye problems, and a number of dental complications.
Gum Disease – A higher risk of infection is a typical concern afflicting diabetics. This includes an increased possibility of gum inflammation known as gingivitis. Gingivitis typically results from bacteria found in plaque. Without regular dental check-ups and cleanings, this plaque can continue to build and the bacteria become more pervasive. Eventually, inflammation can begin to harm the supportive structures of the teeth, most notably the gums, resulting in what is commonly known as periodontal disease.
Thrush – Thrush and other fungal infections of the mouth are yet another result of lowered immunity. Oral sores that often appear raised and white in color and trouble swallowing are the most common symptoms indicating an infection such as thrush or oral candidiasis.
Dry Mouth – Another cause of oral sores and infections can be continued dry mouth. When diabetes isn’t properly controlled, glands in the mouth may produce less saliva than normal. While merely troublesome or uncomfortable at first, dry mouth can eventually lead to some serious dental concerns.
To avoid the problems outlined, diabetics should implement careful oral hygiene regimens. While oral health is a concern for everyone, it should be moreso for those with diabetes. To help ward off these concerns and others, it is critical that the condition be carefully monitored and controlled with the help of a physician. Patients should brush and floss daily, avoid smoking, and visit their dentist at least twice per year.
For diabetic patients in Thibodaux, the office of Dr. Ber offers a welcoming atmosphere with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Schedule an appointment to learn where your oral health currently stands and how to protect it well into the future. Simply click here, or give us a call at (985) 446-5031.