Three Oral Health Problems To Watch Out For When You Have Diabetes

Posted on: 5 May 2017

With proper care and attention to your diet, you can live a long, healthy life in spite of your diabetes. However, there are still certain health problems to which you'll be more prone as a diabetic. Among these problems are a few dental health issues. Here's a look.

Dry Mouth

As a diabetic, your saliva production is likely to be less than that of the average person. Your mouth may often feel dry and cottony. Not only is this annoying, but it also increases your risk of other dental problems. When your mouth is dry, oral bacteria tend to have a heyday because they're not constantly being washed away by saliva. These bacteria lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

To help combat your oral dryness, make sure you sip water throughout the day. You can also find over-the-counter mouthwashes made for patients with dry mouth. Use one after you brush to keep your mouth more moist for a few hours.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem for diabetic, and not just because of dry mouth. Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your gums, making them more prone to irritation and inflammation. If you notice that your gums are red, sore, or bleed easily, then you're probably in the early stages of gum disease. Start brushing more often and more thoroughly, and start using an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. If your symptoms don't improve, speak with your dentist. Sometimes, you might need a deep cleaning or antibiotics to get the bacteria and resulting gum disease under control.

Tooth Decay

The same bacteria that cause gum disease also cause cavities to form in the teeth. This is one reason why it's so important to treat any gum disease promptly. If left untreated, the abundant bacteria in your mouth may also cause cavities.

Note that most cavities don't cause any symptoms until they're quite serious. So, the best way to ensure they are caught and filled early is to see your dentist for regular checkups. Be sure to tell them about your diabetes; they may want to see you a bit more often than the average patient so they can keep close tabs on your oral health.

Diabetes can make you more prone to oral health problems, but like anyone, with some vigilant brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use, you should be able to keep most problems at bay.