Monday, December 6, 2021

Untreated diabetes leading cause of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breadth

Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) Dental Officer Dr. Tebogo Molotsi says that people living with Diabetes face a grave risk for periodontal disease, an infection of the gum and bone holding the teeth in place.

Addressing a Support Group meeting held at PMH last week (April 16, 2015) Molotsi explained if untreated, Diabetes Periodontal disease (DPD) can lead to painful chewing complications and even tooth loss.

The University of Pretoria trained charming Dental Officer said: “A dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected Diabetes, can cause a burning mouth syndrome, soreness, non-healing ulcer infections and tooth decay. To avoid tooth decay apart from regular brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste using the circular or flicking method twice daily; avoidance of acid-based foodstuffs and beverages is dental health best practice. Acid attacks the tooth structure or enamel and causes decay. The sulphur gas emissions from bacteria also cause bad breadth. Of note, a dry mouth characterised by reduced supply of saliva further denies the oral cavity of its natural cleansing effects exacerbating accumulation of bacteria causing foul mouthing bad breadth.

“Good blood glucose control is key to controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood glucose control get gum disease more often and more severely than people whose diabetes is well controlled.

Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups, proper dental care and good blood glucose control are the best defence against the oral complications of Diabetes.”

People who have diabetes are aware that the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Smoking makes these problems worse, she said.

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