When first diagnosed with diabetes your next dental appointment may be the last thing you have on your mind- but it should be one of the first! Periodontal disease is a disease category describing infections of the mouth which affect the supporting structures of the teeth, such as gingivitis and other gum diseases. And if you have diabetes you are much more likely to fall victim to its devastating effects.
New diabetics will probably learn from Dr. Wells at South Charlotte Dentistry that one of the side-affects of diabetes is that it makes them much more susceptible to all infections of the body. Infections of the mouth are not exempt from this, though they can often be overlooked. Our mouths naturally contain lots of helpful bacteria which help us to break down our foods. But in diabetic patients who have excess levels of sugar in their mouths, the bacteria feed on the sugar and subsequently grow at a faster pace than normal. It is the excess levels of bacteria that cause the diabetic infection.
Some of the most common symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums and bad breath, which many people will mistakenly pass off as being normal parts of their oral hygiene. Some other symptoms can be less easy to ignore such as pain and swelling of the mouth or gums, pus, mouth sores- especially persistent sores that will not heal on their own, and loosening of the teeth and withdrawn or recessed gums. Once an infection has started it is important that a scaling and root planing be done to treat the disease as a regular teeth cleaning will not be enough to eradicate all the harmful bacteria. The scaling and root planing procedure is more in depth and removes the harmful bacteria causing the infection below the gum line and inside the infectious pocket that can be formed around the tooth as seen in the diagram below. In a regular teeth cleaning procedure only bacteria and plaque above the gum line are removed.
Don’t wait until you show symptoms before coming to see Dr. Wells and the South Charlotte dental team! If you have recently received a diagnosis of diabetes one of your first steps in treatment should be a visit to Dr. Wells’ Ballantyne office. He and his staff can educate you of your risks as a diabetic and give information for the prevention of periodontal disease. If you are already showing signs of an infection, you shouldn’t give the disease a chance to progress before coming in. If you think you may have periodontal disease it is important to make an appointment immediately, so that you can be treated as quickly as possible and avoid tooth loss.
If you need to make an appointment with Dr. Wells visit us at our website at http://www.southcharlottedentistry.com or call at 704-759-0908. Don’t wait- make an appointment today!