Dental Health for Diabetes and Other Metabolic Conditions

As you may be aware, diabetes can cause problems all over the body. As may be expected, poorly controlled blood sugar can also affect your oral health. Among other things, you may experience intensification of gum disease, poor healing, thrush, gum inflammation, dry mouth (which can lead to tooth decay), and burning. At the same time, diabetes can also affect your white blood cells, thus increasing the chances that oral infections will be more serious.

Typically, if you have thyroid disease, your doctor will make use of radioactive iodine to treat and monitor your condition. Unfortunately, this form of iodine can damage salivary glands. As may expected, this will affect the quantity as well as quality of saliva production. In addition, if children have underactive thyroids (hypothyroidism), it can cause a delay in tooth eruption, as well as cause problems with bite development. Depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism, children may also have thick lips and protruding tongues. In some cases, adults may also develop a hoarse voice.

If you have a pituary tumour, it may cause additional growth hormone to be produce. Typically, parts of your face that contain cartilage may start growing again. This includes the lower jaw, as well as the ears and nose. You, or your dentist may notice these symptoms, as well as an increase in tongue size. Unfortunately, if you have dentures, these changes may prevent them from fitting properly. Interestingly enough, pituary tumours can also cause diabetes and hypertension.

Paget's Disease can also have a harmful effect on oral health. Typically, people notice an increase in head size, as well as pain in the head early on. As you may be aware, this is a bone disorder that causes bone material to break down, and then build up at an accelerated rate. This can lead to deformed bones, as well sa broken ones. The bones also have more blood vessels, which can cause severe bleeding if bones break, as well as during dental surgery. If the jaws are affected, it can lead to a number of dental issues. Your dentist will have to watch jaw bones carefully, as the bone cells may become malignant.

Why Procedure is Used

Regardless of your other health conditions, periodontal diseases need to be taken care of. In particular, if you have diabetes, it may even help you achieve better control of blood sugar levels. Typically, once you get rid of an infection, your blood sugar levels will also go down. This, in turn, can help reduce the amount of medication you need for sugar management. Even though it is difficult to determine if diabetics have a higher rate of tooth decay, decreased amounts of saliva can still have harmful effects on oral health.

Patient Concerns to be Addressed

Today, there are some things you can do to manage symptoms like dry mouth. For example, your dentist can give you artificial saliva. You may also want to use fluoride rinses in order to help prevent tooth decay.

Unfortunately, if you are diabetic, poor circulation and other issues can prolong the amount of time required to heal after oral surgery. In addition, you may develop fungal or oral yeast infections easily. Without a question, if your mouth burns, you will need to let your dentist know, so that he/she can check for signs of infection. You will also need to let your doctor know which medications you are taking, as some medications that control sugar can interfere with medications that your dentist may initially want to use.

Even though you may be going for a dental visit, it is important to take your diabetic medication and eat normally. It is also very important to let your dentist know if you have low sugar episodes (hypoglycemia), as well as their severity. This is especially important to consider if you use insulin injections. As with any other situation, it will be to your advantage to carry glucose tablets, or some other source of readily available carbohydrates. Once you are done with dental treatments, you can go back to your normal diet.

How Is Procedure Performed?

Regardless of how well you are able to control thyroid conditions or blood sugar, you will need to let your dentist know how you are doing. Among other things, you will need to let him/her know about changes in medications, as well as your overall health condition. This will help ensure that your dentist can help you maintain good oral health. You should also provide the name and phone number of your doctor, so that your dentist can call with any questions or concerns.

If you are diabetic, your dentist may want to see your hemoglobin AIC results, as well as fasting blood sugar tests. Depending on your results, your dentist can make some decisions about which treatments are safest to use. Typically, if your Hemo AIC is below 7%, you should have few problems.

As you may be aware, many local anaesthetics used in a dental office have epinephrine in them. If you have a poorly controlled overactive thyroid, the epinephrine can cause heart problems. You may also be more sensitive to opium based pain relievers. Typically, you will need to discuss these issues with your dentist before having certain procedures.

Post-Operative Concerns

If you are able to achieve good control of diabetes, you may not need to see a specialist for dental care. On the other hand, if your blood sugar levels are too high, you may need to take antibiotics before and after dental procedures. This is especially important if you also have kidney or heart complications associated with diabetes. As may be expected, if you have braces, and notice a wire or other element cutting into your mouth or tongue, you will need to see your orthodontist. Ideally, you should have this problem fixed before the abrasion causes a sore to develop. In addition, diabetics that have an orthodontic appliance made from acrylic may wind up getting thrush more often.