Diabetes and Orthodontics: What You Need to Know
Although diabetes has become a fairly common disease in recent years, it is still very serious and should be managed properly to avoid damaging effects to the body. These damaging effects include threats to your oral health that can greatly influence your orthodontic treatment.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
The connection between diabetes and periodontal disease is closer than most people think. Did you know that those with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease? For this reason, it is important for people with diabetes to understand its effects and practice good oral hygiene before, during and after orthodontic treatment.
Simply put, gum disease (periodontal disease) is an infection of the soft tissue that holds the teeth in place. It is caused by a buildup of bacteria not removed with regular brushing and flossing. While diabetes can increase the chances of getting gum disease, it can also be affected by gum disease itself. Gum disease in those with diabetes raise their risk for developing things like kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes and Orthodontics
Periodontal disease puts added stress on the gums, which can complicate orthodontic treatment. Braces also cause stress on the gums due to the movement of teeth. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may have to end early due to gum disease. If you or someone you know is undergoing treatment with diabetes, consider the following tips:
- Inform our staff. We don’t judge, we’re here to help.
- Maintain your diabetes by eating healthy and staying active.
- Try to brush after every meal or twice daily at the minimum.
- Floss at least once each day,
- Avoid smoking.
Signs and Symptoms
If you suspect possible gum disease during orthodontic treatment, contact our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
- A difference in your bite
- Sensitive teeth from receding gums
- Gums that are red, swollen or tender
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.
Orthodontists Dr. Graham Gardner, Dr. Natalie La Rochelle, and Dr. Dana Tang and our experienced staff at Gardner and La Rochelle Orthodontics will conduct a thorough evaluation of your teeth to determine if treatment should be stopped or another form of action needs to be taken. Gum disease is best fought when caught early so don’t wait until things get worse. Contact us to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!