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Local Dentist, Dr. Scott Gordon, Treats Diabetic PatientsIn our local dentist office, Dr. Scott Gordon works with patients of all ages and helps them to stay in good oral health. He recommends that patients have their teeth cleaned twice a year because he believes in the importance of preventative oral health care. Dr. Gordon also treats diabetic patients and due to their increased health risk recommends that they have a teeth cleaning on a quarterly basis.
Many diabetics are unaware that they have a higher risk of oral health issues than the general population. When diabetics have uncontrolled blood sugar levels, they are at risk for all types of health issues. That’s because uncontrolled blood sugar prevents the white blood cells from fighting infection. They are the body’s natural defense mechanism and critical for staying healthy. When white blood cells can’t do their job, a simple bacterial infection can turn into a major health issue.
The most important thing that a diabetic can do to stay in good oral health is to control their blood sugar through diet and medication. After that it is critical to visit the dentist at least twice a year, if not more. Since diabetics naturally have a difficult time fighting infection and the dentist can help by removing bacteria from the teeth and gums so that it doesn’t have a chance to create a cavity or other type of health problem. This level of preventative care is a diabetic’s best shot at avoiding tooth decay and gum disease.
A diabetic does have a greater risk for gum disease as well. Since blood flow is restricted there is often not enough blood to flow to and from the gums in order to keep them healthy. This can lead to swollen and puffy gums that can start to bleed and feel sore. Removing bacteria from the gum line can help to reduce the swelling and irritation while preventing full-fledged gum disease from taking hold.
During regular dental exams the dentist can also look for signs of thrush. This is a fungal infection that develops in people that take too many antibiotics. Since diabetics regularly take medication, they may get thrush on occasion. This causes a burning sensation on the tongue and cheeks which can be very uncomfortable. The dentist can make treatment recommendations to correct it.
Other than controlling blood sugar and visiting the dentist regularly, a diabetic should take extra steps to care for their teeth and gums at home. This requires diligence but is worth it to keep bacteria at bay. Instead of brushing twice a day, it is better to brush and floss after every meal. This should prevent most bacteria from lingering in the mouth. Additionally, diabetics should drink plenty of water so that the body can produce enough saliva to avoid dry mouth, which another common condition. Saliva is essential for good oral health because it is the body’s natural way of washing away bacteria.
To learn more about how to stay in good oral health or to schedule an appointment for a dental examination call Austin Lakes Dentistry today.
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