Dental Care and Diabetes
Mouth naturally contains many kinds of bacteria. Sugar and starches in the foods we take interact with these bacteria and form a sticky film on the teeth which we call plaque. The acid in the plaque eats away the enamel of the teeth and can lead to cavities. With the higher blood sugar that comes with diabetes, the wear on the teeth becomes more and the risk of cavities becomes higher.
If you don’t brush and floss regularly, not only the plaque is not removed from your teeth, it will harden under your gum line and turn into a substance called tartar or calculus. The more the tartar stays on your gums, the more the part of your gum around the base of the teeth, which is called gingivia, gets irritated, swollen and finally start to bleed. That’s what we call gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not treated in time, the serious infection caused by it will destroy soft tissue and bone that support your teeth (periodontitis). In the long run, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. Your teeth may become loose and fall out as a result of untreated periodontitis, which is more sever among people with diabetes. In people with diabetes the resistance to infections is lower and healing takes more time. Infections as a result of periodontitis tend to cause the blood sugar level to rise and the diabetes would be harder to control.
Controlling your blood sugar level is the first step in preventing these diseases. As a general dentist, I believe brushing and flossing are the most important things you have to do to prevent gum and teeth diseases, not only in people with diabetes but for everyone. Brush at least twice a day, all the better if you do it after meals and snacks, and make sure to floss at least one each day. Have one of our dentists at Culver City Dentist, Beverly Hills Dentist or Los Angeles Dentist professionally clean your teeth twice a year and check for early signs of gum diseases.