Managing your health can be overwhelming at times, even for healthy people. The challenge increases for diabetics, but it’s even more important!
Saliva, under normal circumstances, is responsible for keeping our mouth healthy and free of bacteria. But in diabetics, high levels of glucose in bloodstream as well as in saliva, aid the growth of harmful bacteria.
Foods that contain sugars or starches combine with these bacteria to produce a soft and sticky film called plaque, which causes tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and halitosis (bad breath).
Some of the diabetes-induced oral problems and their symptoms:
- Gingivitis: Inflamed and bleeding gums that are often red and swollen.
- Periodontitis: Advanced stage of gingivitis, characterized by chronic bad breath, receding gums and formation of pus between the teeth and gums.
- Candidiasis: Formation of white or red patches in your mouth which can potentially turn into open sores.
- Xerostomia (dry mouth): Caused by lack of saliva, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Cracked lips, a rough and dry tongue are not uncommon.
- Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, often leaving a bitter taste.
So, how can you decide if your tooth troubles are due to diabetes?
In diabetics, oral problems take a more severe form and take longer to heal. Conversely, gum diseases can make it difficult to keep your blood glucose levels in check.
Either way, your oral health cannot be neglected and an immediate visit to your dentist is in order.
Meanwhile, keep your blood sugar levels down through a combination of medication, diet control and physical exercise – high levels of blood glucose can lead to formation of plaque.
Untreated plaque eventually turns into tartar – a hard calcified deposit – making brushing and cleaning between your teeth difficult.
Diabetics should look out for sores in the mouth that do not heal easily, a nagging pain in the jaw or mouth, loose teeth, chronic bad breath, pain when chewing food, a changed sense of taste or a bad taste in the mouth.
Most importantly, diabetics should find a dentist they love, and see him/her regularly. Working together with your healthcare team can keep your diabetes under control, and sometimes even reverse it!
TEETHING IS NO FUN for babies or parents. Some babies’ teeth erupt with no problems at all; but for others, it could be a long and painful process.
Besides giving your child plenty of tender loving care, here are some things you can do to care for your child’s mouth during the teething phase.
We know you take meticulous care of your pearly whites. You avoid sugar-rich food, you brush your teeth unerringly twice a day, and you floss with almost religious fervor.
In fact, you could be a role model for many people out there who either partially, or worse, not at all follow the dental hygiene practices recommended by dentists.
While your oral hygiene routine may be commendable, if you are leading a lifestyle full of stress, all your good work with your teeth may be negated.
If you are an adult who takes your oral hygiene very seriously, with your daily brushing and flossing taking on ritualistic proportions, a semi-annual visit to your dentist is often enough.
GUM ISN’T ALL ABOUT freshening your breath. While it definitely helps after that garlic pasta you had for lunch, did you know chewing sugarless gum can also prevent cavities and improve your oral health?
CHOOSING TO BREASTFEED a child is a personal and special decision for a mother. Not only does nursing provide a valuable bonding experience for mother and baby, it also has many health benefits, such as decreasing the child’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and lowering the chances of mom developing breast and ovarian cancer. But what effect can breastfeeding have on baby’s oral health and development?
EVER THINK ABOUT HOW GREAT your saliva is? While we often take it for granted, saliva has a critical role in your oral and digestive health.
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The saying goes, “Pay the farmer, or pay the doctor.” The more fresh, healthy, organic foods we eat, the healthier we are, and the less we have to deal with chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. And while many of us can justify paying more for a nice salad than we pay for drive-thru dollar menu fare, we just can’t afford to shop exclusively at the health food store. If you’re one of the many people who want to eat healthier, but don’t think you can afford it, here are some tips to get you on the right track. Read the rest of this entry »
I am excited to share, that during April and May, Legacy Dentistry will be participating in the Smiles for Life campaign. How it works is very simple: 1) You want whiter teeth. 2) Ultradent donates their whitening materials to our practice, 3) We donate our time, 4)Every penny you pay goes to local and not-so-local charities. Easy, right? Read the rest of this entry »
Originally written January 2015 for publication in Midlothian NOW Magazine:
Yes, you still have to brush and floss, and have your friendly neighborhood dental hygienist clean the areas you might miss. But if you keep your pearly whites sparkly clean and still find yourself on the wrong side of the dentist’s drill, it’s very possible your diet is at least partly to blame. Not to worry, though, you won’t have to make celery sticks and raw apples your primary source of calories (although they are great). Follow the guidelines below to make your next check up much more pleasant. Read the rest of this entry »