Anyone of any age can suffer from diabetes. Your teeth, mouth and gums show early signs of diabetes. If you find yourself suffering frequently from any of the following symptoms, you could be pre-diabetic or be suffering from diabetes.
- dry mouth;
- burning sensation in the mouth;
- frequent mouth sores;
- delayed wound healing;
- increasing oral infections;
- problems swallowing;
- soreness and/or inflammation of the gums;
If you are experiencing these symptoms, even if they are not frequent, visit your dentist immediately. Your dentist will be able to determine whether there is a serious underlying cause for your symptoms, or not, and guide you as to the appropriate treatment.
If you are a confirmed diabetic, make sure your dentist is aware of it.
Here are some tips:
Inform your dentist while scheduling your appointment, if you have had any recent episodes of low or high blood sugar (hypoglycaemia or hyperglycemia).
Let your dentist know of any other medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, eye problems, numbness in limbs, delays in healing or kidney problems.
If dental surgery or any other dental procedure has been planned, your dentist may need modify your diabetes medication in consultation with your physician.
You may not be able to eat or drink after a procedure or surgery. In that event, your diabetes medications will have to be balanced taking food intake into consideration.
If your diabetes is not under control, your dentist may not feel it safe to move forward with dental treatments.
Sometimes, elective dental treatment may need to be delayed until the diabetes is considered stable or better controlled.
When going for your dental appointment, always carry your latest test results and your most recent HbA1c (A1C) results.
Schedule morning appointments. Cortisol levels are higher in the morning. Cortisol increases blood sugar levels and so the risk of hypoglycaemia is less.
If you are on insulin therapy, whether short or long acting, let your dentist know. Your dentist will schedule an appointment so that it does not coincide with peak insulin activity which increases the risk of hypoglycemia.
Always eat before you leave for your appointment and make sure you haven’t forgotten to take your medications.
Don’t let diabetes get the better of you. Keep it under control by following four simple rules:
- Take medications at the recommended time.
- Keep to your diet.
- Exercise daily.
- Monitor blood sugar regularly.