Diabetes Puts Teeth and Gums More at Risk
Probably the greatest impact of diabetes on dental health is that it can leave people more prone to gum disease. Most people in the population will experience or encounter some degree of gum disease (to a greater or lesser extent) throughout life. Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria. Poor glycaemic control as a complication of diabetes can make gum disease worse because it changes the immune response to these bacteria. This is especially so if someone has exposure to high glucose levels before diagnosis or starting treatment for their diabetes.
Gum disease may just affect your teeth and gums, but can also be more widespread affecting your overall general health and glycaemic control. In its earliest form (gingivitis), it causes the gums to be inflamed so that they bleed on brushing and flossing. In its more progressive and advanced form (periodontitis), it causes bone and tooth loss by destroying the tissues that support and hold your teeth in place.
Gum disease may also be associated with an increased risk of other diabetes complications such as cardiovascular (heart disease), cerebrovas cular (blood vessels supplying the brain) or peripheral vascular (obstruction of arteries outside the heart and brain) problems.
A new Dental Cover Scheme for you and your Family
DeCare Dental and ERM bring you a new dental insurance scheme that could help you not only save money on your dental bills but also to be more proactive about your dental health. Find out more at the end of this page.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
You may not notice any symptoms of gum disease as it is usually silent and progressive. You may have gum disease if you have ever noticed or have:
• Red, bleeding or swollen gums
• Pus from the gums
• Foul taste or persistent bad breath
• Longer looking teeth or your gums receding
• Loose teeth
• Increasing spaces between your teeth
• Tartar on your teeth
How is gum disease treated?
The best way of finding out if you have any gum problems is to be screened by a dental professional. They can often pick it up at a much earlier stage by carefully and gently probing around the gums to measure the separation between the tooth and the gum (‘pocketing’). This is also checked against dental X-rays that record the bone levels around the teeth.
The good news is that gum disease is very treatable in most cases. The earlier it’s picked up, the better the outcome of treatment. Treatment involves removing tartar and bacterial deposits from the teeth (above and below the gum line).
The effect of this is to reduce gum inflammation, stop gum disease progressing and prevent tooth loss. Reassuringly, evidence suggests that in people with well-controlled blood sugars, the response to gum treatment appears to be very similar to that of people without diabetes.
What special precautions do people with diabetes need to take for their teeth and gums?
People newly diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should get a thorough oral examination. This should include a detailed assessment of your gums and teeth (including X-rays). A periodontal (gum) examination is essential to investigate for the presence of gum disease. If no gum disease is diagnosed initially, an annual review of this is recommended.
Similarly, a dental check-up for decay or other dental issues is recommended at 6-12 month intervals (depending on your previous dental history) for all people. If gum disease is diagnosed you should get it treated promptly. If you have lost multiple teeth, you should consider replacing them so you can eat properly and have a healthy diet.
Oral conditions such as dry mouth, burning mouth and oral fungal infections may occur more commonly in those with uncontrolled diabetes. If they do occur, you should seek advice from your dental professional about how to manage the particular problem. In general, early treatment is usually best.
Having your teeth and gums checked regularly tends to be the best form of defence when it comes to making sure you don’t run into problems. But don’t forget – if you do have problems, they are usually very easily managed. In general, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated the better.
How Dental Insurance Can Help
When you visit your dentist, DeCare Dental’s Healthy Smiles plans provide 100% cover for the cost of your exams, x-rays and cleanings and give great financial protection if you have a dental emergency or need more expensive dental treatment. So you can save money on your dental bills and protect your smile for life.
From Just €153.12 per year get 100% immediate cover for:
- 2 dental examinations per year
- 2 cleanings per year
- Dental x-rays
- 1 emergency dental treatment worldwide per year
- Claim up to €500 per year
With 4 DeCare Healthy Smiles plans to choose from, you can add cover for:
Fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns, sealants and space maintainers for kids, orthodontics and more. Plus great cover for children under 18 years starts from as little as €92.52 per year for Healthy Smiles Level 1.
Call ERM on 018454361 and get a quote today.
How DeCare Dental Insurance Works
When you visit your dentist, DeCare Dental’s Healthy Smiles plans provide 100% cover for the cost of your exams, x-rays and cleanings and give great financial protection if you have a dental emergency or need more expensive dental treatment. When you take out a plan and visit your dentist, you pay as normal, then claim back your covered costs as soon as your treatment is complete. If your dentist is also a member of DeCare’s Direct Pay Network, DeCare will pay the dentist directly for the costs covered by your policy. DeCare’s customer service team are based in Claremorris and are always on hand to answer your queries.
Diabetes and Your Oral Health
For diabetes and oral health tips and advice, download DeCare’s Diabetes and Oral Health Tips and Advice
*Refers to Healthy Smile Level 1 age 18-39
Benefits are listed as a guide only and do not form part of a contract. Full details of cover are included in the Terms and Conditions booklet, which you will receive on joining or can download at www.decaredental.ie. Prices quoted are net of tax relief and are correct at the time of printing but may be superseded.
Euro Risk Management ( Insurances) Ltd t/a ERM Financial Services is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
This policy is underwritten by DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland Limited. DeCare Dental Insurance Ireland Limited trading as DeCare Dental is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.