Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people in the United States. Although it may not be life-threatening, diabetes can cause other consequences such as tooth decay and orthodontic treatments to become ineffective if untreated or poorly controlled with medications like insulin. In this post, we’ll show you 5 facts on whether or not diabetes impacts braces – let’s get started.
Diabetes and Oral Disease
A lot more than just blood glucose levels affect oral health. The amount of sugar going into someone’s mouth also matters plenty too (diabetes won’t make any difference here.) But, there are two specific aspects related specifically to dental work:
- Plaque buildup due to bacteria feeding off food stuck between teeth
- Receding gums
Diabetes is on the rise in adults, and it’s important to take notice. This condition has been shown as being closely related to oral health issues like dental caries/cavities from consuming sugar during meals which can lead towards gum disease for people who have diabetes; two times more likely than average citizens.
As such, since they’re already at risk, make sure that you are practising good hygiene habits before treatment starts or after finishing their braces so there aren’t any problems later down the road.
You may develop gum disease or cavities if you don’t brush your teeth as often as you should. Bacteria that are present inside the mouth after eating food lead them into plaque buildups on the surface of our teeth (especially those who have problems with their mouth cavity.)
Diabetes also weakens white blood cells, and this makes us more susceptible to infections in general – not just oral ones. Saliva helps wash away bacteria and neutralize tooth-decaying acids; without it, we’re left vulnerable to potentially harmful effects such as gingivitis which can lead to periodontitis (gum inflammation.) This is an issue where some bone is lost around tooth surfaces leading towards tooth loss.
Not only does diabetes damage blood vessels, but the thickening of these narrow passages slows down nutrient delivery. This can affect your overall health in many ways from a lack of nutrients reaching some parts of your body like muscle tissue which may lead to weakness and fatigue over time – not good.
The most common type of gum disease is periodontal, and it can lead to serious complications like loosened or loss of teeth. It’s caused by buildup in our mouths from bacteria which causes infection when brushing isn’t enough to get rid of them all.
This leads to inflammation with swelling and bleeding under the surface tissue around your gums where they attach near the bone (gingiva.) Possible symptoms include pain while eating food high in sugar such as juice drinks; toothaches at night time due to pressure on sore areas from sleeping positions.
Orthodontics & Diabetes
When you have periodontal disease, braces can stress your gums and interfere with orthodontic treatment. The constant movement of teeth could also cause complications down the line – like early termination for example.
To avoid these issues it is best to practice managing diabetes through healthy eating habits that are well-balanced every day as often recommended by doctors or other medical professionals who know more about insulin injections than an orthodontist.
The Signs Of Pending Issues
It is important to contact your treatment provider as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of gum disease so they can help protect your teeth. Some common warning flags include:
- A difference in the position and pressure applied when chewing food
- Sensitivity from receding gums (you may hurt more easily)
- Swollen/ tender gums, redness on brushing flossing while using interdental cleaners;
- Bleeding if not wearing dental appliances correctly
Smoking and Gum Disease
If you combine diabetes and smoking, the chances of developing periodontitis are up 20 times more among those who do not quit. Fortunately for this high-risk group though it is possible to prevent gum disease by controlling blood sugar levels with diet or insulin injections as well as practising good oral hygiene practices like brushing twice per day after every meal using fluoride toothpaste/mouthwash.
Gluck Orthodontics is a trusted name in orthodontic care. Dr. Gluck is a board-certified orthodontic specialist (a distinction only one-quarter of all practising orthodontists today can claim). He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
Here at Gluck Orthodontics, we proudly provide our patients with the very latest in orthodontic care plus a little something extra from the friendly staff that we like to call ‘The Gluck Experience.’
To learn more about Diabetes and oral health, schedule your initial orthodontic consultation, call us at 615-269-5903. Or visit us online or in person.
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.