We can’t deny that diabetes has become a common disease, but that doesn’t make it any less serious. It exposes you to the risk of developing heart diseases and affects your eyes, kidneys, nerves and even skin. But what’s often ignored is how diabetes affects your oral health which highly influences your orthodontic treatment. Keep reading to find out the threats of diabetes to your oral health.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis is a gum infection which affects the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports the teeth. It is caused by the build-up of bacteria in your mouth and may result in the loss of teeth. To put it simply, it is caused by poor oral healthcare.
Periodontal Disease and Orthodontic Treatment
Diabetes increases the risk of gum disease since diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections. And people with periodontal disease face problem during their orthodontic treatment. This is how:
- Bone loss and inflammation during periodontitis move the teeth into an undesirable position during the treatment.
- Periodontitis stresses the gums and complicates the orthodontic treatment forcing you to stop it early.
Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the early stage of gum periodontal disease that results in red, swollen and tender gums. It makes the gums bleed easily and also results in bad breath.
Gingivitis and Orthodontic Treatment
- Gingivitis results in swelling in the gums. This brings the capillaries closer to the surface leading to bleeding if traditional braces accidentally tear the skin.
- Swelling in gums can obstruct the brackets if left untreated.
The most common of the oral health problems is tooth decay. It is caused by bacteria feeding on the sugar in your mouth which results in the accumulation of plaque over the surface of teeth. The saliva in our mouth balances the acid produced by the bacteria. However, due to high saliva and blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, the saliva fails to balance the acid.
Tooth Decay and Orthodontic Treatment
- The brackets and wires in your braces easily trap the food particles. And poor oral care during the orthodontic treatment results in permanent damage to your teeth making them brown and chalky.
- The loss of mineral of the tooth structure can even make the teeth crumble and break.
Oral Infections and Dry Mouth
Low saliva levels and high glucose levels due to diabetes make our mouth more vulnerable to oral infections, particularly fungal infection also known as thrush. And if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, infections can get worse. Moreover, diabetes reduces the production of saliva in your mouth which can leave you feeling thirsty all the time.
Oral Healthcare for Diabetic Patients
- Use an interdental brush. It is thin, round or cone-shaped brush with bristles held together by a wire. It is designed to be inserted between the teeth gently.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and complete your oral routine by a mouthwash to remove bacteria.
- Rinse your mouth after every meal.
- Drink water along with food to wash away the tiny food particles immediately.
- Check your mouth regularly for signs of gum disease such as inflammation, redness, or bleeding gums.
- Don’t smoke.
Traditional orthodontic treatment using wires can get complicated for people with diabetes. The alternative to braces is the Invisalign treatment which aligns the teeth using transparent Invisalign holders. It helps maintain good oral health since you can remove and put an Invisalign holder back on before and after every meal.
Ensure that you visit your orthodontist in Lawrenceville, GA regularly and remind them every time that you are a diabetic patient. Ensure that you take good care of your teeth to be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile.