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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Diabetes and Dental Care

Effects of diabetes on dental care has been discussed but not to this extent. The diabetics are advised to eat healthy, do regular physical activity and take medication as prescribed, but some may not know that these medications to control insulin may result in unforeseen events in dental offices. How can you tell if there‘s damage to the teeth and gums?

Plan ahead your visit to the dentist. The diabetes medicine you’re taking may cause low blood glucose. Before the visit talk to your doctor and dentist the best way you can take care of the blood glucose while having dental work done. Bring some food and diabetes medicine to the dentist’s office.

The diabetics have to tell their dentists their special needs to avoid the harmful effects of diabetes due to the interaction between the medications and the materials used at dental offices. This study was published in the AGD's clinical journal called General Dentistry.
Lee Shackelford, DDS, FAGD, said that it is very important to inform the dentists of the special needs of the diabetics so that the dentists can foresee and prepare for the medical interactions and physical response to treatment that can occur.

The dentists have to know if the patient is taking insulin treatment and have taken their everyday dose. This will also help foresee how long the appointment will take. This is important as any medication may interact with whatever agents the dentists may use.
Really, this alert is not just for the diabetics but for the general population as well.

James Little, DMD, MS, the main author of this study, advised everyone to inform their dentists with a complete information regarding prescription drugs, herbal drugs and over the counter medications as they may interact with the materials used during the dental appointments.

The excellent way to avoid the harmful effects of diabetes on the care of the oral health is an open communication with the dentists. This way any interaction can be anticipated and prepared for. There are steps the diabetic patients can take to get the best treatment possible:

1. Look for a dentist who understands the needs of diabetics.

2. Visit the dentist regularly and alert him to any changes in medications and in overall health condition.

3. Let the dentist know of any painful areas, swelling, sore or redness in the mouth.

4. Before the appointment, have a meal that is normally taken and the medication on schedule.

5. Bring the blood glucose monitor and let the dentist know when experiencing low blood sugar.

Here's a complete list on how to keep the teeth and gums healthy:
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Brush the teeth not only after each meal but after each snack with the use of a soft toothbrush. With the bristles alongside the gum line, brush the front, back and top of each tooth gently with small, circular actions.
  • Floss at least once a day for this prevents the plaque from growing on the teeth. When not attended to, plaque will get hard and grow in the gums. How do you floss? With a sawing motion, put the floss between the teeth and rub from bottom to top a few times.
  • Keep dentures clean.
  • One of the facts of diabetes is to maintain the blood sugar level at or as close to the target as possible.
  • Immediately call the dentist if experiencing any problems with teeth and gum.
  • Ask the dental hygienist who cleans your teeth to show you the best way to brush and floss. At this point, you might as well ask the best toothpaste and brush to use.
  • As mentioned before, get your teeth and gums cleaned twice a year.
  • When the dentist informs you of the problem, ask him how to deal with it and then take action.
  • It is important to inform the dentist that you have diabetes.
  • Since smoking exacerbates the tooth and gum problems, find ways to quit the habit.
  • See the dentist whenever there's swelling, bleeding, redness, gums drawing away from teeth, and soreness from teeth or dentures.

So take time to check your mouth daily for any problems. Some have gums that bleed while brushing the teeth. Others feel soreness, dryness or a bad taste in the mouth. All these are good reasons for you to go and pay your dentist a visit. Remember that good control of the glucose can prevent problems in the mouth.

Get this for Healthy Teeth

1 comment:

Jen L. said...

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