Oral Manifestations of Diabetes and Treatment Options
Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes (diabetes mellitus) each year. An estimated 30 million adults and 1.25 million children had diabetes in the United States last year. For people with diabetes, taking care of your body is essential and this includes your oral health. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics are also at a higher risk of developing dental diseases and oral problems. This is because diabetes causes the blood vessels to thicken and halts the passage of essential nutrients flowing towards the gums. Further, toxins and waste products are prevented from being removed as easily. The reduction of blood flow weakens your gums, makes them more susceptible to diseases.
Let’s take a better look at diabetes and its types.
What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce insulin. It accounts for 5%-10% of all cases of diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and lasts for a person’s entire life. People with diabetes take insulin daily. Their blood sugar should be kept in check by balancing insulin with a meal plan and regular exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all cases of diabetes and most often occurs in middle-aged or older adults. People with type 2 diabetes manage their diabetes with a meal plan, being active and taking medicines, if required. Working with their healthcare team, all diabetic patients can develop a treatment plan that works for them.
The Relationship between diabetes and oral health
If you have diabetes, you are three times more at a risk of developing Periodontitis. Periodontitis is more likely to initiate, cause and or make worse diabetes. More than half of the U.S. population and two-thirds or more American adults have gum disease or Periodontitis. It is an infection in your mouth and does not just stop there. This infection goes through your entire body as an inflammatory response. And it worsens your diabetic condition. If you can control the inflammation from the gum disease, then diabetes can also be controlled.
What happens when gums are inflamed?
The bacteria found in dental plaque wedges between the gum and the tooth, to a point where the infection can no longer be reached with the bristles of a toothbrush or any other oral hygiene aid. These areas are called periodontal pockets. These pockets are measured with an instrument called ‘periodontal probe’ that are generally considered to be a concern when the gum detachment is 3 mm or more. As the bacteria under the gumline remain hidden, the surrounding gums become inflamed. It, in turn, causes the loss of tooth-supporting jaw bone.
Orthodontic Treatment Options for Diabetics
Pocket reduction gum surgery is a procedure designed to reduce these areas by trimming away the loose detached gum, providing the necessary and improved access for daily oral hygiene. It also enables the unwanted bacterial film to be scrubbed away.
Patients who maintain the habit of inter-dental brushing sustain the most improved periodontal health. The lack of inter-dental brushing is mostly due to the re-growth of loose and detached gums. This allows bacterial bio-film to hide once again between the gum and the tooth, reforming new periodontal pockets, and subsequently defeating the improvement made with treatment.
Dental floss, toothpicks, and irrigators can be useful but are much less effective than inter-dental brushing.
Ensuring good oral hygiene and dental health will keep your gums healthy and prevent your diabetic condition from worsening today.
Author Bio:Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – weather is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!