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Dentistry Utah

Knowing the Challenges: The Dental Care Needs of Diabetics

An older woman flossingPatients know that they can put their trust in Dr. Patrick Tanner. A leading dental health expert in the greater South Ogden area, he provides advanced restorative dentistry services, able to improve the health and beauty of smiles.

Many patients are surprised to learn that general wellness issues can cause dental health problems, which makes sense given how different parts of the body are interconnected. With that in mind, let's consider how diabetes can lead to problems with dental health.

Diabetes Means Many Different Health Challenges

If you are a diabetic, you know that you face many general wellness challenges. This might include issues with hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and even loss of vision. In addition to these issues, diabetics also face a number of serious dental wellness issues, all of which have to be taken quite seriously.

Gum Disease Is More Likely

Diabetics tend to be more susceptible to infections, which means that they often suffer from gum disease more often than people who are not diabetic. Gum disease is the infection of the gum tissue, caused by the same bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath to occur.

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

In the earliest stages of gum disease, the most common symptoms are bad breath, irritated gums, discolored gums, and gum discoloration. In more advanced stages of the condition, the infection becomes much more serious, leading to gum recession, loose teeth, the spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth, and many other serious issues.

Issues with Oral Thrush

On the note of infections, another issue that diabetics may have to consider is oral thrush. Oral thrush is a type of fungal infection that can lead to unsightly and uncomfortable oral lesions in and around the mouth.

Tooth Decay Is More Likely

Because of issues with blood sugar, many diabetics are likely to experience far more serious problems with tooth decay. Minor cavities may progress quickly, turning into more serious types of decay and increasing the risk of a root canal infection.

Dry Mouth Is More Common

When you are a diabetic, you suffer from dry mouth more often. While this sounds more like an annoyance than a major dental health concern, dry mouth actually poses a number of problems that people should take seriously.

  • Dry mouth can make speaking more difficult

  • Dry mouth can make eating and chewing more difficult
  • Dry mouth results in more serious cases of bad breath
  • Dry mouth can exacerbate a case of tooth decay and gum disease

Increase Risk of Tooth Loss

On top of all the above, the combination of these various dental problems and risk factors means that diabetics face an increased risk of tooth loss. This may occur due to advanced gum disease or serious cases of tooth decay.

Oral Hygiene Tips for People with Diabetes

If you are a diabetic, there are several things that you can do to ensure good dental health. Consider these tips:

  • Monitor your blood sugar
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Avoid the use of tobacco products
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine checkups

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Patrick Tanner

For more information about achieving great dental health and improving your overall wellness, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Patrick Tanner and his team will help you achieve total wellness.

Tagged In: General Dentistry, Gum Disease, Tooth Decay, Missing Teeth

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Dr. Tanner's office and staff are the best!!! I’ve been going to him for over ten years and always have been treated with the best care. Even when I had an emergency, they got me right in. His work is exceptional, and pretty much pain free!!

-Suzi B.

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