Diabetes is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood, either due to insufficient levels of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin correctly.
So why is oral health so important to a diabetic?
If a bacterial infection is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. It will also cause elevated blood sugar levels. The infection of the bone and gums will be difficult to control.
Diabetics, especially uncontrolled, may experience:
- delayed wound healing;
- decreased or diminished flow of saliva (Xerostomia);
- increased sugars in the saliva, which will increase the risk for dental caries.
Diabetics should visit a dentist or oral hygienist regularly. They should schedule an appointment early in the morning, after breakfast, in order to stabilise and prevent a severe or sudden drop in blood sugar levels.
- (Dr Ilona Visser, dentist)