Taking care of your teeth and mouth is of utmost importance if you have diabetes. Problems with teeth and gums can be more common for people with diabetes because the condition results in a greater risk of oral infection and often slows the healing process. Therefore, good dental health is important to prevent dental complications in diabetics. Dr Sagar Shah, Cosmetic and Implant Dentist at 32 Reasons Clinic, Mumbai explains the relation between diabetes and how it can affect your oral health.

Common symptoms of dental health problems are:

a) Redness, swelling and bleeding gums

b) Loose teeth

c) Bad breath

d) Burning sensation in the mouth

Diagnosis
Studies prove that the relationship between gum disease and diabetes is two way. People with diabetes have a lesser ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums and are at a higher risk of oral health problems. The type of oral health problems are Gingivitis and Periodontitis. If not treated in time, the infection will destroy the bone around your teeth. The teeth may start to move or get loose. This may lead to two things – either your teeth fall out or may need to get pulled.

Being a diabetic, if your blood glucose levels are not in check, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth. Again, like all infections, serious gum disease may play an important role in causing blood sugar to rise and make diabetes harder to control.

Prevention of dental problems
Here are preventive measures that can help prevent dental problems associated with diabetes.

a) Keep a check on your blood glucose level.

b) Maintain oral hygiene such as – brushing at least twice a day, flossing your teeth once a day.

c) Use a medicated mouthwash as prescribed by your dentist.

d) Maintain periodical visits to your dentist. Visit your dentist every six months and ensure that every infection is treated as early as possible. Minor dental problems can quickly escalate, and a routine visit to the dentist will pick up on these.

d)For patients who wear dentures: it is important to remove and clean them daily.

e) Maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and giving up on smoking is also advised to lessen the risk of oral health problems. Smoking increases the risk of gum disease.