There is no part of the body diabetes cannot affect. Even the mouth is not safe from it. So if you have dental issues, you will want to take extra care of your oral health, especially if you need to undergo a dental surgery or tooth extraction.
This does not stop you from managing your blood sugar. As a matter of fact, you will need to give it more attention if you’ve been quite oblivious. This is because of the fact that, with time, a raised blood sugar levels can develop your risks of further dental health issues.
Before we dive into dental surgery for diabetics, let us take a look at diabetes, it types and how dental conditions are related to this disease.
Insulin is a hormone secreted in our cells within the pancreas. It is released straight into the bloodstream and eventually, part of the endocrine system. Insulin is a form of a conductor which enables our blood glucose to go into the cells around the body for use. Now, there are some situation in which production of this insulin become over secreted or under secreted, causing what is popularly known to be diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body of an individual is either unable to produce insulin or the amount of insulin produced is not efficient. When the former happens, it is referred to as Type 1 diabetes while the latter is known as Type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a type of diabetes usually found in younger people. It has a strong genetic predisposition. Type 2 diabetes is linked with overweight, hereditary diabetes, inactiveness physically and some ethnicities. Type 2 diabetes patients can enhance their glycaemic control with good food, physical activeness and adequate weight loss. However, they may need insulin sensitizers that can assist peripheral tissues to take up glucose or oral hypoglycaemic agents that stimulate the secretion of insulin. The type 2 diabetes is the more common one of the two and it amounts to about 85% – 90% of diabetes cases. While type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, amounts to 10% – 15% of all diabetes.
After a while, people with diabetes get gradual damage to nerves and blood vessels because of the raised level of glucose being circulated, which can raise the complication levels such as kidney diseases, blindness, dental diseases, heart disease and stroke. Also, this blood sugar disease may boost vulnerability to other diseases, damage mobility, add to depression and cause problems for pregnant women.
The most common test used to detect diabetes in individuals is the fasting blood glucose. The test measures the glucose levels at a certain condition in time. It is approved that by maintaining normalized blood sugar levels, an individual may delay or hinder some of the complications linked with the disease.
Dental Conditions in Relation with Diabetes
When an individual visits a dental clinic, they should be screened in order to ascertain their diabetes status. The dentists should go over the patient’s medical history, record essential symptoms and draw a conclusion from his examination, about dental signs and symptoms of inappropriately controlled diabetes. Some of the common things that result from uncontrolled diabetes are slow healing of a wound, more occurrences of chronic infections, burning sensation felt in the mouth, xerostomia, gingivitis, secondary infection with candidiasis, etc.
Individuals with diabetes usually recognize the signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia and take action before any new thing occur. Dentists must also be able to detect the symptoms and take care of the patient’s blood glucose levels. In addition, every dental clinic should adopt the protocol of treating hypoglycaemia in individuals, either conscious or unconscious.
Dental Surgery for Diabetics
Carrying out dental surgery on individuals with diabetes is a complex process. It is associated with the type of diabetes the person has and the several problems linked to the disease. The specific thing to take note of is to avoid sensitive incidents hyper-glycaemic or sub-glycaemic comas during the surgery and to maintain a post-surgery course that is smooth. Therefore, the main concern of the disease is not during the dental surgery process, but what may occur after the surgery has been carried out, during the healing time.
There are tendencies of some problems to arise such as slow wound healing, dry socket or osteomyelitis. If the diabetics cannot be controlled, the tooth that needs to be removed is often affected in a periodontal manner. The blood sugar level target of a diabetic patient should be optimal before a tooth surgery like an extraction can be done. This will help prevent post-surgery complications.
Uncontrolled diabetes is known to be a relative contraindication. So it is safer to not undergo any dental surgery when a patient is in an uncontrolled diabetic. This is because of the post-surgery symptoms that have been discussed above. Before treatment, the sugar level must be allowed to reduce to normal. On the other hand, it is safe for a controlled diabetes patient to undergo tooth extraction because its safety is almost as that of a dental patient with no diabetes. This should not serve as an excuse for not taking care of the wound until it is healed.
Below are some tips for diabetes patients on taking care of their oral health:
- Follow all the instructions given to you by your dentist.
- Maintain a close-to-normal blood sugar as much as possible.
- Use non-alcoholic mouthwash when you have a dry mouth.
- After about 30 minutes of every meal, ensure that you brush your teeth. Waiting for about 30 minutes will protect any tooth enamel that is been softened by an acid in the food.
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