You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
When you take your child to the pediatric dental clinic for a checkup, cleaning, or procedure, be sure to discuss your child's diabetes with the dentist and hygienist. Diabetes, especially juvenile diabetes, can raise the risk for complications during and after dental procedures. Here are some ways diabetes can affect your child's mouth.
Delayed Healing After Procedures
Because diabetes can inhibit circulation, your diabetic child may be at a higher risk for delayed healing after undergoing dental procedures than children without diabetes. Your dentist will need to know if your child has diabetes prior to a tooth extraction because the surgical site will need to be closely monitored for wound healing problems.
If your child is at risk for delayed healing because of juvenile diabetes, the dentist may recommend that your child increase their intake of citrus fruits because they are high in vitamin C, which helps promote soft tissue healing. Lean sources of protein such as turkey and yogurt may also help promote wound healing after dental extractions. While nutritional interventions can help promote healing, your child will need to see the pediatrician on a regular basis to ensure that their blood glucose levels are being well-managed.
Oral Infection Risk
Another reason you should discuss your child's diabetes with the staff at the pediatric dental clinic is that high blood sugar levels can increase the risk for oral infections. Not only can diabetes increase your child's risk for infections after dental procedures, but it can also heighten the risk for gum disease and oral fungal infections such as candidiasis. When the dentist and hygienist know that your child is a diabetic, they can monitor him or her for signs of gum infections such as inflammation, increased bleeding, and drainage.
The dentist and hygienist will also closely examine the oral cavity for signs of fungal infections such as raised white patches in the mouth or throat. The patches may cause oral irritation and bleed when touched. Bacterial infections of the gum tissue typically respond well to oral antibiotics or antimicrobial gum rinses, while candidiasis infections usually respond to prescription anti-fungal medications.
To learn more about how diabetes can affect your child's oral health, make an appointment with a children's dental care specialist. In addition to recommending routine examinations and professionals cleanings, the dentist may advise you to take your child to the pediatrician or endocrinologist regularly for blood sugar monitoring and necessary treatment.
To learn more, contact a pediatric dental clinic.