Diabetes is a metabolic disease that results in high blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you are susceptible to a number of related conditions, including an increased risk of oral health problems. Understanding this increased risk can help you stave off oral disease and keep your teeth healthy.
One of the most common oral complications found in patients with diabetes is gum disease. There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue. As the disease progresses it can cause the gums to bleed, appear red and puffy and become painful or tender. The gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where plaque and bacteria accumulate. If your gums bleed when you gently brush them with a soft toothbrush, you may have gingivitis.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it develops into periodontitis. At this stage, the infection causes damage to the jawbone and ligaments that support the teeth, making them loose. The gum tissue further recedes, leading to exposed nerve endings that can make the teeth very sensitive. If you have loose teeth that are extremely sensitive, you may be suffering from periodontitis.
There are several reasons why a person with diabetes has an increased risk of gum disease. If you are diabetic, your saliva may contain increased amounts of sugar. This extra sugar makes it easier for bacteria to thrive inside your mouth. When your diabetes is poorly controlled, you are even more susceptible to these bacteria, because you heal more slowly. People with diabetes are also prone to dry mouth. Dry mouth can irritate the gums. The lack of saliva to wash away bacteria allows them to set into the irritated gum tissue, promoting further gum disease.
Thrush is a fungal infection common in people with diabetes. It presents as white sores on the mouth and tongue. Underneath the white patches, you see red tissue that bleeds easily. People with diabetes are more susceptible to thrust because they frequently take antibiotics. Your mouth maintains a natural balance of bacteria and fungus. If antibiotics kill too many bacteria, the fungus is able multiply more easily, leading to fungal infection. High blood sugar also contributes to the spread of thrush, because the fungi feed off of the extra sugar.
The presence of high levels of sugar in the saliva can also promote tooth decay. The bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acid. The increased acidity damages the enamel that protects your teeth from decay. The presence of gum disease exacerbates this problem, as pockets between the gums and teeth house more plaque and bacteria. Tooth decay that is left untreated causes significant pain and can even lead to oral abscesses.
All of these conditions are most common in individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. If sugar levels are kept in check, you are less likely to have oral health problems. Follow all of your doctor’s orders. Take medications as prescribed. Avoid sugary foods and simple carbohydrates that can raise your blood sugar levels. Drink plenty of water to combat dry mouth.
Everyone needs to practice good oral hygiene, but if you have diabetes, the increased risk for oral disease makes it especially important.
Just because you are diabetic doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to suffering from oral health issues and losing your teeth. Take precautions to prevent illness; and, know the signs of illness so that you can get help before it is too late.
Yes, it sure does have a relation with your oral health. So the sooner you realize the harmful effects alcoholism accompanies, the earlier you can prevent serious oral and overall health problems by reducing, if not quitting, on your alcohol addiction.
The dental issues faced by an alcoholic worsen over time, as they typically don’t participate in practices of good oral hygiene. Moreover, it’s the teeth that have to pay the price for poor nutrition. It isn’t just one dental problem that alcohol addicts have to deal with. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of health issues including decay, tooth loss, abscess as well as gum disease that the harmful habit of alcoholism brings with it.
Are there any signs?
Yes, there are certain signs that show up in the mouth, reflecting the effects of alcoholism. These mostly include decay in the teeth or tooth loss. Alcoholism also leads to tongue problems like a painful tongue or a swollen tongue that burns because of poor nutrition.
Your dentist may also notice ulcerations in mouth corners or a gum disease known as gingivitis, which is often related to alcoholism. Alcohol addiction also affects the saliva flow in your mouth, as a result of which the body’s potential to protect itself against outside substances is impacted.
How Damaging Is It?
Alcohol addiction can be extremely damaging with your mouth experiencing injuries sustained in falls or gums bleeding on a frequent basis. Alcoholism tends to interfere with blood clotting, which can be a serious problem for the addict. Most alcoholics ignore this, increasing their chances of fracturing the jaw or breaking their teeth in case of imbalance or falls.
Regular brushing of teeth is very important because it prevents tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing removes the bacteria of dental plaque that promote tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing is a simple task but many people do not know how to do it correctly. Skipping around so much and rubbing so hard does not clean teeth, it actually damages the teeth and gums. No matter how good one brushes their teeth; some bacteria will always be left behind. The growth of dental plaque starts again the moment you stop brushing and remove the tooth brush from your mouth. You should be very careful to use proper tooth brushing techniques so that the percentage of bacteria left behind will be the lowest possible.
Teeth should be cleaned for at least two minutes twice a day. It is important to take short and delicate strokes as teeth are delicate organs which need soft and delicate handling. Especially if one is already facing any oral problem. Gum cleaning is as important as tooth cleaning. So it is very important that while brushing, at the same time gentle strokes must hit on the gums too. The toothbrush should haze extremely soft bristle so that it does not rupture your gum line and result to bleeding.
Below are different cleaning techniques for people of different age groups.
Scrubbing technique: This method is used by children below 9 years of age. The bristles should be soft with tasteful toothpaste so that they do not shirk from cleaning their teeth.
Bass technique: Kids between the ages of 10- 15 years are supposed to make circular movements so that an adequate massage can be provided to developing gums. This covers all the gums and teeth area and gives a completely clean mouth.
Roll technique: In this technique one is supposed to give short strokes towards the teeth surface from gum margin. It is said that improper following of this technique may lead to neglected gum margin clean out.
Charter’s method: In this technique, one has to place the brush partially over the gums and partially over the teeth. A vibrating effect is given to the brush in circular movements. This technique is very beneficial but difficult to learn thus it is unpopular.
The tongue should also be brushed to remove bacteria that cause bad breath. Use a tongue scrapper if you are uncomfortable with the brush. If you have a bad breath problem, brushing the roof of your mouth helps a lot.