Dental Treatment For Diabetes Patients

Dental Treatment For Diabetes Patients

Over 77 million people have diabetes in India. That’s one in six people diagnosed with diabetes. India has the second highest number of diabetics in the world. Scary, right?

So what is diabetes and should you be worried?

When you consume food, your body turns it into sugars and sends it to the cells which use it as energy to do their tasks. However, to take up this sugar, cells need a hormone called insulin. If your body does not make enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or doesn’t respond to insulin (Type 2 diabetes), the cells won’t be able to take up the sugar and it will remain in the blood, causing high blood sugar levels. This is termed diabetes.

Diabetes affects the entire body, with patients at an increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, neuropathy, and infection. They show delayed healing as well. 

How does having diabetes affect your dental health?

Diabetes and Your Gum health – 

  • If you have diabetes, you are at an increased risk for both early-stage (gingivitis) and advanced (periodontitis) gum disease. 
  • This disease is the most common dental problem in patients having uncontrolled blood sugar. 
  • Bacteria-rich plaque and tartar form in every individual. However, in diabetics, the reaction of the immunity to these bacteria is exaggerated causing the disease to progress faster and become more severe.
  • If the inflammation persists, it can involve the bone and cause your tooth to weaken and become loose. 
  • Gum infection can also make your blood sugar levels rise, thus making it difficult to control your diabetes. 

Diabetes and Your teeth health

  • When you have uncontrolled diabetes, it means there is more sugar not only in your blood but also in your saliva.
  • The bacteria in your mouth love sugar and multiply fast to form plaque on your teeth.
  • If not removed, this plaque can gradually lead to tooth decay.
  • Also, saliva protects teeth from washing away acids produced by the bacteria. However, in diabetes, you can have lesser saliva leading to higher chances of cavities.

Diabetes and Infection

  • Having high blood sugar reduces your body’s ability to fight infections.
  • Infections of the mouth take a longer time to heal including dental infections
  • Fungal infections like thrush, candidiasis are common in patients with diabetes due to suppressed immunity.

Diabetes and General oral health

  • You can suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia) because of less saliva formation.
  • Salivary stone formation can occur in the glands.
  • You may have slower or delayed wound healing
  • You could have burning mouth syndrome or experience tingling or numbness
  • Abscesses could form more frequently on your gums
  • Some patients may experience taste disturbances.

What should you keep in mind before visiting a dentist

Having well-controlled blood sugar levels generally makes your dental appointment risk-free. However, keep in mind the below points before a dental appointment.

  • Find a dentist who is experienced in treating diabetic patients
  • Be honest with the dental team. Let them know your blood sugar levels over the last few months and any episodes of hypo or hyperglycemia.
  • Do not skip any meals. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may occur, to prevent that, eat your normal meal before your appointment.
  • Take all your medications on schedule. If you have forgotten any, inform your dentist.
  • Inform the dentist if you are not feeling well, have any uneasiness or any other symptoms.

Remember, your dentist can help you manage your oral health and thereby help manage your diabetes as well. At Narayana Specialists dental center, we have ample experience in caring for diabetic patients. So, make sure to schedule an appointment with us now.

Does my dental treatment differ if I have diabetes?

If you have well-controlled diabetes, most treatments are generally safe to perform. Uncontrolled diabetes affects your body’s ability to fight infections and heal, so treatments may be slightly altered according to your general health.

  • Your dentist at Narayana specialists dental center will ask you for an in-detailed history of your symptoms, your blood sugar levels, how you monitor them, the medicines you take, etc. to formulate a customized treatment plan for you. 
  • If you have diabetes, you are generally given a treatment appointment based on when you take your medication. This ensures higher blood glucose levels at the time of appointment, leading to lesser chances of hypoglycemia. 
  • Your dentist will treat any source of infection on a priority basis, such as periodontal disease, abscess, etc. 
  • Elective treatment is generally postponed if you have poorly controlled diabetes.
  • In some cases, dentists may coordinate with your physician, especially if surgical procedures are required. 
  • Certain procedures may be covered under antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent the chances of infection occurring.

Complications during dental treatment

If a thorough history is obtained and adequate precautions are followed, the chances of complications during dental treatment in diabetic patients is rare. However, at Narayana Specialist dental center, our dentists and staff are trained to handle any diabetic complications that may arise

  • Hypoglycemia – A sudden fall in your blood sugar can cause a hypoglycemic episode. Recognizing the early signs is crucial so that you can be given glucose/sugar for instant relief followed by longer lasting carbohydrates for better recovery. Be sure to inform your dentist if you start to feel any tingling, hunger, sweating, anxiety, dizziness, or any other symptom.
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness – This is occasionally seen in some patients who are diabetic and show none of the early warning signs of hypoglycemia and directly have a sudden onset of severe hypoglycemia. If you have experienced something like this before, be sure to mention this to your dentist. You will be asked to carry your glucometer with you and readings will be taken every hour in case of longer procedures.

How to prevent dental problems if you have diabetes

  • Your health is in your hands. Managing your diabetes should be your priority not only for good oral health, but for general wellbeing.
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day
  • It is advisable to floss once a day
  • Visit your dentist for a regular dental check up every 6 months to prevent any major problems from occurring.
  • Check regularly if you can see any early signs of gum disease (redness, swelling, bleeding), since it is common in diabetic patients.
  • Avoid smoking. It can worsen your gum disease.

More and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes every year. However, a lot of other cases go undiagnosed. Many oral signs may alert your dentist, who may ask you to do a diabetic screening if they suspect the same. So take charge of your health, and book an appointment to get checked by our highly qualified team NOW!