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How Diabetes Affects Kids Teeth

Archived 11 Jan 2020 - Posted: 13 Nov 2019
There are around 11,000 children and young people in Australia who are living with diabetes. Most children have type 1 diabetes, although increasingly we are seeing children and young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There are now nearly 1,000 young people aged 20 or under in Australia with type 2 diabetes.

Did you know that periodontal (gum) disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes?

It’s World Diabetes Day on November 14th so we thought it was a great time to discuss how the disease affects kids’ teeth, and how parents can help their children manage their oral health while living with diabetes.

Diabetes and gum Disease

People with diabetes are at higher risk of gum disease because of poor blood sugar management. In fact, gum disease can actually cause a slight rise in blood sugar levels, which makes diabetes more difficult to manage. This makes it imperative that children living with diabetes pay attention to their oral health to best avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

Oral symptoms of untreated Diabetes

If diabetes is left untreated or mismanaged, then it can lead to a world of painful oral symptoms. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, then it is important that they see a dentist immediately.

Children with untreated diabetes may experience:

  • Less saliva, leading to dry mouth, and a higher chance of contracting cavities. 
  • Gums may become inflamed and bleed often. 
  • Oral infections may occur more frequently.
  • Oral wounds take longer to heal. 
  • Teeth may erupt at an early age.
  • Receding gum line.

Kids with Diabetes need to properly care for their teeth

The best way to avoid painful oral symptoms associated with diabetes is by practicing optimal dental hygiene habits. Be sure your child brushes twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flosses once per day. Also, make sure that they stay hydrated and drink an adequate amount of water. This will help keep their saliva levels high and fight plaque build-up and dry mouth.

How the Dentist can help your child fight diabetes

Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help your child fight gum disease and provide a treatment plan that helps your child manage their oral health.

Teeth N Smiles can visit your school

Teeth N Smiles provide on-site oral health assessments for students on the Central Coast and beyond. Our mobile dental clinics are fully equipped dental surgeries on wheels and our great team of qualified dentists and other dental professionals are eager to bring happy and healthy smiles to your students. Our mission is to keep these beautiful smiles bright and glowing by providing regular and free-of-charge dental services.

 

Resources:

Diabetes Australia

World Diabetes Day

This article archived 11 Jan 2020

 
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