Looking after your teeth is vitally important in its own right, since a healthy, attractive smile is vital to boosting your levels of self-confidence. Over and above this, however, is the fact that oral health can be a vital indicator of your general levels of good health, with certain illnesses linked to higher levels of plaque and tooth decay.
Whilst many people now visit their dental clinic in order to have the appearance of their smile transformed, with treatments such as dental implants providing an effective form of teeth replacement which will look completely natural, there’s still a vital health component attached to an appointment at your dentist. Keeping your teeth clean, for example, by having them cleaned by a hygienist and by having your dentist explain exactly what the correct brushing techniques are, will massively reduce the risk of conditions such as decay and gum disease. Most people are aware of this, but what many might not realise is the fact that certain medical conditions can make looking after your teeth that little bit more difficult.
There are different types of diabetes, but the most common is that known as Type 2 diabetes. This mainly effects adults, but is increasingly being seen to be present amongst teenagers and children, particularly if they are overweight or eat a poor diet. One of the key points of diabetes is that it can, in most cases, be controlled by medication, diet and exercise. Often, however, either because they don’t know that they’re suffering from the condition, or because a lack of know-how means they don’t realise exactly how to control it, people will fail to take the correct steps and this can lead to high levels of sugar being present in the blood.
Not only will this cause harm to major organs of the body such as the heart and the kidneys, but it can also exacerbate the chances of gum disease and tooth decay. Many people misunderstand the role which sugar plays in attacking their teeth, thinking that the sugar itself causes the enamel to decay. The truth, however, is that sugar left on the teeth attracts bacteria, and it’s these bacteria which, while feeding on the sugar, produce the acid which eats into the enamel.
Another side effect of diabetes is that is can cause dry mouth syndrome. What this means is that there is less saliva present in the mouth, and the dryness which takes its place creates an environment in which bacteria will flourish. As well as leading to higher levels of plaque, this can also lead to infections such as mouth ulcers and thrush.
If you do suffer from diabetes, then looking after your teeth and gums becomes a little bit more difficult, but it is still something which the average person should be able to manage. The first and most important step is to visit your dentist regularly, allowing them to spot and treat any problems and conditions before they have a chance to become firmly established. The next step is to maintain your own strict oral hygiene regime, using floss, fluoride toothpaste and the correct kind of toothbrush. Provided you have all these factors in place, and clean your teeth for two or three minutes twice a day, keeping them clean and healthy, even if you suffer from diabetes, should be straightforward.
If you suffer from diabetes, then it’s vital that you go the extra mile to maintain the healthy state of your teeth. If you spot bleeding, swollen gums, bad breath, mouth ulcers and over-sensitive teeth, then tell your dentist about it as soon as you possibly can.