Did you know that diabetes can affect your oral health? Diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are too high. If the body does not make enough insulin, glucose does not stay in the blood. High levels of glucose in the blood can attract harmful bacteria. While the mouth mostly contains good bacteria that help keep the teeth and gums healthy, harmful bacteria feed on sugars and starches, negatively affecting oral health. Here learn how diabetes can affect oral health and how we can address these problems in our Lititz, PA, dental office.
What Are the Links Between Diabetes and Oral Health?
There are multiple dental problems that can be affected by diabetes. If you have diabetes, please let us know so we can plan preventative treatment for you. We can keep oral health problems at bay with preventative, general dental treatment.
Our office can treat these problems linked to diabetes in our Lititz office:
Gingivitis (Gum Inflammation)
Gum inflammation is a problem that diabetes patients can have if their glucose levels are high. Because glucose can build up in the saliva, it can feed harmful bacteria irritating the gum tissue. Patients with gingivitis can experience bleeding gums, sensitivity to temperature, and bleeding when brushing and flossing.
Keeping track of your glucose levels and brushing and flossing twice daily can help keep bacteria in check. Antibacterial rinses can also help minimize harmful bacteria in the mouth. We use antibacterial rinses in our office after a dental cleaning.
Over time, gingivitis can become periodontitis or gum disease. Moderate periodontitis can create gum pockets that expose the tooth roots. Severe gum disease can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss.
Scaling and root planing can be helpful for patients with symptoms of gum disease. Our hygienists use dental tools to remove plaque and tartar from the gum tissue and tooth roots during these treatments. If patients require oral surgery, we will refer them to a surgeon so they can restore healthy gum tissue.
Glucose in saliva can also impact the tooth enamel. As harmful bacteria feed on glucose in the mouth, they can break down the outer layer of the tooth or the enamel. Over time, bacteria can create cavities or holes in the tooth.
We offer dental fillings for patients with cavities. When we fill teeth, we use a composite, tooth-colored material. If bacteria reach the dental pulp or cells and vessels that keep teeth alive, we will require a root canal. Root canal treatment removes the dental pulp, cleans the tooth chamber, and seals the tooth. We may also recommend a dental crown to stabilize and strengthen the treated tooth.
Are you noticing new developing dental problems? Do you have diabetes? Request a dental appointment with Dr. Sara Gotwalt. You may also call our Lititz dental office for care today at 717-627-6980. If you have any current concerns, please let Dr. Gotwalt know; she will be glad to help you get the right care for your specific symptoms.