About Diabetes and Dental Health

At the Diabetes Dental Care Center we specialize in providing the best treatment solutions for patients with diabetes looking to improve their oral health. Whether you are suffering from cavities, gingivitis, or periodontitis, our experts can create a customized treatment plan to ensure that your teeth are looking and feeling their best. If you or someone you know is currently suffering from diabetes and would like to learn more about the symptoms and treatment options available for this disease, read on to learn more.

What is Diabetes?

Also known as Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes is a term used to describe a disease that causes high blood sugar and impacts the way insulin is produced.

There are 3.3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 590,000 people who are living with the condition and unaware of it.

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

  1. Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives. It is vital for life.
  2. Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrates and is also produced by the liver.
  3. If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood and can’t be used as fuel.

What are the types of Diabetes?

Type 1 – Often known as Juvenile Diabetes or Early-Onset Diabetes, as it typically develops during the teen years. There is no insulin to unlock the cells and it accounts for only 10% of all Diabetes types. People with type 1 Diabetes are required to monitor their blood-glucose levels, adjust their diets, and take insulin injections on a daily basis.

Type 2 – The most common form of Diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, is caused by the body failing to produce enough insulin or by the body not responding to it in the right way. It accounts for 90% of all Diabetes cases. It can be managed through weight loss,  healthy eating, exercise, and regular glucose testing, but occasionally oral anti-diabetics and/or the use of insulin injections are also necessary to get the glucose levels under control.

Gestational – This type of diabetes can impact women who are pregnant. Studies have shown that women who´s diet is rich in cholesterol and animal fat are a lot more likely to develop it than those who eat a more well-rounded and low fat diet. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy, and it develops when women have large amounts of glucose in their blood and their bodies are unable to keep up with insulin production, causing the glucose levels to continue to rise.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes?

While symptoms will vary from person to person, typically, Diabetes-sufferers will experience the following:

  • Dry, cracking skin
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Vision issues
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Extreme sense of thirst and hunger
  • Inexplicable weight loss

What is the dental impact of Diabetes?

While it may not seem readily apparent, people with Diabetes have oral health risks as well. Diabetes sufferers actually have a lot of oral health risks associated. Since Diabetes is marked by high levels of sugar, a lot of people end up with thrush, which is a fungus that develops on the mouth and tongue and thrives in sugary conditions. As a side effect of dry mouth many also experience a burning sensation in their mouths, as well as a higher incidence of decay. Since impaired blood flow is also a side effect of Diabetes, gum tissue often takes longer than usual to heal, so ulcers and extractions take a longer time to heal as well. When the gums are inflamed or infected, it can frequently develop into periodontal disease (bone loss around the teeth), since it becomes harder for the body to fight gum infection. This is why patients with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop periodontal diseases and tooth loss.

What are the treatment options for Diabetes?

Depending on the type of Diabetes, it can either improve with diet and lifestyle changes, or maintaining a regular schedule of medication for Diabetes by taking certain pills or daily insulin injections to prevent any glucose-related issues.

If you would like to learn more about improving your oral health as part of your overall Diabetes care plan, simply fill get in touch and one of the members of our team will contact you to answer all your questions and set you up with a consultation. We look forward to creating a customized treatment plan that targets your needs and improves your oral health!