The body uses glucose as a source of energy. Insulin helps to distribute the glucose through the body. Diabetes is a disease that compromises this process.
Diabetes can take two forms, Type 1 and Type 2. Patients with Type 1 Diabetes cannot produce their own insulin and will need to take a daily substitute. Those with Type 2 are able to produce some insulin, but not enough.
Diabetes can be related to a number of dental issues. If the body’s glucose levels are out of control it can affect the ability to fight off infection and make it harder for people to heal from a dental procedure. They will also be at a higher risk for gum disease. If glucose levels become too high in the saliva it will promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth which can lead to tooth decay.
Infection can cause swelling and tenderness of the gums. You might notice a difference in the feel of your bite, or you could sense a bad taste in your mouth or a foul breath.
Your dentist will need to know if you suffer from diabetes. He will perform an exam to check for loose teeth or signs of periodontal disease. A periodontal probe will measure the depth of the “pockets” that form when gums recede from teeth. Xrays will reveal any relevant changes.
Thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth sometimes related to Diabetes. It can be controlled by brushing and flossing. If you wear dentures be sure to keep them clean and take them out before you go to bed. Your dentist may recommend a saliva substitute for dry mouth.
If gum disease is found you may need a deep cleaning procedure which will include scaling and planing to remove tartar and plaque buildup. Antibiotics may be administered for infection.
Continue regular dental checkups.