Diabetes mellitus is a disease state where there is an excess level of glucose in the blood over a long period of time. The high blood glucose is loosely referred to as high blood sugar, as glucose is a type /class of sugar.
The condition can damage many body parts including the heart, vessels, eyes, kidneys and literarily could affect all body organs. The incidence in the general population is rising at an alarming rate. The resultant effect on the heart and the blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular accidents, strokes, renal and organ failures. Infections set in, gangrene of the limbs, ulcers etc.
Whilst Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease, a lot can be done to slow down the problems or complications that could arise with regards to the oral health of the diabetic.
Diabetics tend to have a higher incidence of gum and supporting tissues problem, referred to as gingivitis and periodontitis. This does not preclude these two conditions happening to non- diabetic patients.
Plaque which is a sticky film full of germs accumulates continually on the surface of the teeth and this is the cause of oral health problems. Plaque is pronounced as PLAK.
High blood glucose levels encourage the germs in the plaque to grow, the resultant effect is a red sore and swollen gum, and this makes the gums to bleed readily most especially after brushing. This is the first sign of inflammation of the gums, gingivitis noticed. The individual tells the dentist that I notice bleeding in the gums when they brush the teeth, yours truly has experienced a situation a lady actually was of the opinion she might soon be anaemic because she sees blood every time in her saliva when she brushes her teeth.
Diabetics have to take extra care of their oral health as there is tendency to have more gum and tooth problems more so when the blood glucose levels are poorly controlled or poor compliance with the medication. A rough guide will be to be aware that the likelihood of getting a bad case of gum disease and teeth where the teeth may become lose is someone with diabetes over the age of forty-five.
Should the gingivitis and periodontal problems be ignored, in time the gums pull away from the teeth and the teeth appear to be long and unsightly apart from the likelihood of mobility of the teeth.
It will be logical for most diabetics to visit the dentist more regularly than the general population for routine check up and to have a preventive therapy. It will be necessary to bring your medication to the dentist at any visit and to take the medication regularly as advised by the general practitioner. The general medical practitioner will be in a position to advise how best to control your blood sugar levels.
Diabetics who have had some dental work may have some sore mouth after treatment making chewing difficult , it will be therefore necessary to take steps to adjust the daily routine whilst the mouth heals.
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