Oral hygiene in diabetes
Studies show that people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from periodontitis. At the same time, the presence of such a complication can worsen the quality of compensation. Is it a vicious circle? How to take care of the oral cavity and why is there such a connection between diabetes and dental diseases?
Materials from the author’s workshop Diabeton
Why is meticulous oral hygiene so important in diabetes?
Inflammation caused by gum disease, infections, and dental disease can increase the risk of heart attack and vascular disease. For this reason, oral health becomes an even more significant factor for people with diabetes. We are already at a higher risk of such complications, which means that all possible risk factors should be minimized.
Going back to the vicious circle: having diabetes means that when blood sugar levels are high, we have more glucose in our saliva. Glucose becomes an excellent breeding ground for bacteria in the mouth. Not all oral microflora is good, some cause caries and gum disease. This vicious circle captures the importance of regular dental visits as part of your diabetes care regimen!
To all of the above, we add the third piece of the puzzle : inflammatory processes in the mouth can also cause an increase in blood sugar or unpredictable glycemic swings. Bottom Line: Maintaining good oral health helps us maintain healthier blood sugar levels! It happens that a lot of compensation work does not give the desired results. Perhaps an additional trip to the dentist will increase the overall effectiveness of the treatment and bring us closer to the target sugars.
An unexpected effect of good oral hygiene on glycated hemoglobin
In defense of careful attitude to the care of teeth and gums, we add that the results of studies show an indirect positive effect on the level of glycated hemoglobin.
UCL Eastman Dental conducted a study, the results of which were published in the journal The Lancet diabetes and endocrinology . The study involved 264 people with type 2 diabetes, and the project itself lasted for a year. Each volunteer suffered gum disease (periodontitis). Half of the patients received standard dental care – teeth cleaning and polishing; the other half received intensive gum disease treatment.
Participants who underwent intensive dental treatment reduced their glycated hemoglobin (GH, HbA1c) levels by 0.6% within a year! This means that dental treatment of gum disease can have the same effect on HH levels as an adaptation of targeted medical treatment, without the side effects or risks that come with medication (hypoglycemia, impaired kidney function, nausea, etc.).
The question remains whether the compensation outcomes improved due to the treatment itself, or whether the treatment made participants more attentive to their personal hygiene, diet, and medication responsibilities.
What oral pathologies are common in people with diabetes?
With poor compensation of diabetes mellitus, the likelihood of periodontal disease increases due to increased susceptibility to bacterial infection and reduced regeneration. Gingival tissues resist pathological processes worse, and an increased glucose content in saliva only exacerbates the process.
Other common dental complications of diabetes include candidal stomatitis (fungal infection), and dry mouth (xerostomia), ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
How to protect the health of teeth and gums with diabetes?
- To prevent pathological processes in the oral cavity, first of all, it is necessary to qualitatively control the level of glycemia. You also need to remember about careful hygiene. Visiting the dentist every six months is a must!
- Your dentist can help you figure out how hard your toothbrush is. This is important because it is the main tool for cleaning plaque at home, at the same time, the brush should not injure the gums.
- Oral care products must be gentle. The less fragrances and various whitening agents in the paste and rinse aid, the better.
- Use the right oral care products. Your daily remedy should be different from the one you use, like heavy artillery in the period of inflammatory processes.
For people with diabetes, a special series of toothpastes and rinses DiaDent has been developed .
DiaDent Regular is a paste and rinse for daily use.
DiaDent Active are products for improving blood circulation, nutrition, as well as stimulating metabolic processes in the gums, which are recommended for use in a course of 14 days for inflammatory processes.
The series has been developed taking into account the specific problems of the oral cavity with diabetes. The composition includes:
- plant extracts;
- antiseptic components that prevent the development of bacteria;
- minerals to strengthen enamel in a bioavailable form, which allows you to more effectively fight and protect against caries;
- complexes of components to improve the regenerative function (for example, methyluracil – improves tissue trophism and healing ability);
- components to eliminate inflammatory processes.
The use of products of the series allows you to fight dry mouth and unpleasant odor. In the production of pastes, a gentle abrasive system is used, which gently removes plaque without damaging the gum tissue. All of the above allows you to use the funds even during periodontal inflammation, while pain is minimized.