Diabetes and Dental Health – Dr. Shanaz
People generally understand that diabetes can affect the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves of the extremities and other parts of the body. But did you know that it can affect your oral health too?
Diabetics can have a series of problems if their disease is not under control, and one of them can be periodontitis. This is a disease of the gums, bones of the mouth and the supporting structures that hold the teeth firm in its place!
At most times, there wouldn’t be any obvious symptoms. After a while, the gums start swelling up, bleed frequently, teeth start becoming looser and more shaky. At times, the gums pull away from the teeth creating gaps and making the teeth look longer and thinner than usual. These are all signs of periodontitis, with loss of the structures and tissues holding the teeth.
Periodontitis can lead up to painful symptoms after a while, such as chewing difficulties, sore mouth, dry mouth, painful ulcers and even tooth decay.
And even worse, studies now have shown that now Periodontitis and Diabetes has a two-way relationship between each other. This means, that not only can diabetes lead to someone developing periodontitis, but long term effects of periodontitis can lead up to diabetes! And as we know, there is currently no cure for diabetes, only treatment to treat its symptoms.
The best way to keep yourself in check would be to have a regular check up on your blood sugar level every 6 months to a year.
A few tips to keep yourself in check for diabetes and periodontitis would be:
- Have regular check ups with your dentist and physician
- Regulate and watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Stick to a healthy exercise regime
- Keep your dental health in tip top condition (brushing twice daily, regular flossing)
- Seek help to quit smoking
- Educate yourself and others about health in general.
Of course it is impossible to entirely stop ourselves from indulging in cakes, sweets and other vices. But with proper control and a healthy exercise plan, we can moderate ourselves to live a healthy and disease-free life!