7 Things To Know About Diabetes and Dental Treatment

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can greatly impact different aspects of your health. Your dental health is no exception, which is why in managing diabetes, check-ups at the dentist should not be skipped or overlooked.

Whether you’re seeking treatment for an underlying dental problem or looking to get a routine exam, you should know how diabetes factors into your oral health. Let’s delve into the five key connections between this medical condition and your smile:

  1. Dental Care Is A Crucial Part Of Diabetic Care – For individuals with diabetes, dental care is more than just about maintaining a bright smile; it’s an essential part of managing the condition. High blood sugar levels can lead to an increased risk of oral health problems. Regular dental check-ups and maintaining good oral hygiene are pivotal in preventing complications that could exacerbate diabetes.
  2. Higher Risks Of Oral Health Infections – Diabetics are at a higher risk for oral infections, such as gum disease and fungal infections like thrush. These infections are more common and can be more severe due to elevated blood sugar levels, which create a more conducive environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing these infections from becoming serious issues.
  3. Glucose Levels Can Affect Results Of Dental Treatment – Blood glucose levels can significantly impact the success of dental treatments. Uncontrolled diabetes can impair healing and increase the risk of infections after dental procedures. It’s important to manage blood sugar levels diligently, especially before undergoing any dental work, to ensure the best outcomes.
  4. Treatments For Diabetes Can Impact Infection Recovery – Does Metformin affect your teeth? Certain medications taken to control blood sugar levels and other factors of this disease can also suppress immune system functionality. These immunosuppressant drugs can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections like gingivitis and oral thrush.
  5. Salivary Gland Dysfunction – Diabetes can alter salivary gland function, leading to several oral health challenges:
    1. Reduced Saliva Production: Both types of diabetes can decrease saliva production, leading to a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth. Saliva is essential for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth, and washing away food particles. A reduction in saliva can increase the risk of dental decay and infections.
    2. Altered Saliva Composition: Diabetes can also change the composition of saliva. This alteration can affect its ability to protect teeth and gums, potentially accelerating dental issues like cavities or gum disease.
  6. Taste Alteration – Diabetes can change the way foods taste. This might seem like a small issue, but it can have a big impact on what and how you eat, and in turn, on your oral health. For example, if sweet foods don’t taste as good, you might eat less of them, which can be good for managing diabetes. But, if things taste bland, you might add more salt or sugar to make them taste better, which isn’t great for your teeth or this autoimmune disease.
  7. Lower Pain Tolerance – While everyone has a different perspective and experience with pain, diabetes can make certain procedures like a root canal feel more painful than what’s usually expected. It’s crucial to speak with your doctor about pain management and expectations before a dental procedure.

7 Things To Know About Diabetes and Dental Treatment

Treating Patients with Diabetes in Dentistry

Dentists play a critical role in the management of oral health for patients with diabetes. Key considerations include:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Before any dental work, it’s important to understand a patient’s diabetes. This includes checking their blood sugar control and looking for any kidney problems, or other health issues. Knowing all this helps the dentist plan safe dental care.
  • Collaborative Care: Dentists often work together with the patient’s doctors. This teamwork makes sure dental care fits well with the patient’s overall diabetes management.
  • Preventive Measures: Regular dental care, like cleanings and check-ups, is crucial. These help stop even more complex health problems in people with diabetes, who are more likely to experience kidney diseases, infections, and issues with other systems connected to the mouth and pancreas.
  • Tailored Treatment Plans: Customizing dental treatments based on the individual’s diabetes diagnosis and current health status. If a patient struggles with dry mouth, periodontal disease, tooth loss, or issues in addition to diabetes, a dentist should work with their primary care physician to ensure they receive the best and safest dental care possible.

The intersection of diabetes and dentistry is a complex one, demanding a comprehensive and informed approach to care. For people with diabetes, maintaining good oral health is a critical aspect of managing their condition.

Dental professionals are integral in ensuring that treatments are safe, effective, and tailored to the unique needs of diabetic patients.

Discover Comprehensive Care In Family Dentistry

Don’t let diabetes stand in the way of achieving optimal oral health. Schedule a routine check-up at Rio Dental & Orthodontics, where we understand the unique dental needs of our patients with diabetes.

Regular dental check-ups are an integral part of diabetic care. Our family-friendly team is committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate care to ensure the best oral health outcomes for you and your loved ones.

Visit our website or call us today to book your appointment. Take a proactive step towards a healthier smile and a healthier you.

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You can play a part in preparing your child for his or her first visit to our office. Informing your child of the visit as an exciting experience for both of you can ease any hesitations. As a parent try to act relaxed, since your child may sense any anxiety on your part.

Explain to your child that the doctor will “count, brush, and maybe take pictures of their teeth”. We also ask that you assume the role of a silent observer. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor, staff, and your child and not through you. Your child may become confused if receiving instructions from multiple sources.

We recommend bringing your baby in for their first dental appointment by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth appearing (whichever comes first). During this appointment, we will examine your baby’s mouth to track their dental development and discuss age-appropriate dental care.

It’s easy to make appointments to visit our office online or over the phone. Rio Dental sees patients both for checkups and dental emergencies. Using our online scheduler, you can select the location and time slot that works best for you for either type of appointment. If you have any questions regarding our practice, or simply prefer to make your appointment with a live member of staff, please don’t hesitate to call!

Rio Dental Group accepts most PPO insurances. We recommend that new patients and returning patients with new insurance policies reach out to us before their appointment to confirm coverage. Our Fort Worth location also sees patients who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP programs.

We don’t like surprises, either! Our staff is prepared to discuss the cost of dental services before you undergo treatment so that you know what to expect in terms of fees. The cost of your services will be due at the end of your appointment. Our office accepts payment by cash, credit card, or check.

Rio Dental Group allows patients to pay with their CareCredit card. CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed to cover out-of-pocket costs at over 225,000 providers nationwide. After leaving the office, card holders will be able to make convenient monthly payments towards their balance. To learn more, visit the CareCredit website.

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