Diabetes is not something which has mared the health of adults but it has been affecting children as well. And it is only but on the rise. According to a study, in America, a whopping 9.5 percent of the population suffered from diabetes. Out of these, approximately 1.25 million were children. When children suffer from such a health disorder, there is a multitude of precautions that need to be taken. Besides, diabetes affects various organs of the body as well. So, the more you know about these changes, the better. That way you can take necessary actions and prevent any further damage to your body.
In this light, we witness the prevalence of periodontal (gum) disease widely among children suffering from diabetes. Take a look at some of the ways how diabetes affects kids teeth and what you can do to manage it:
Diabetes and Oral Health
A chronic disease, diabetes is caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (Type 1) for the body. It can also be caused when the body does not use it properly. This forms the Type 2 and gestational type of diabetes. And both these types lead to increased levels of glucose in the body. In both types of diabetes, the strength of the immune system is compromised. Meanwhile, this produces food for the bacteria which attacks the gums and teeth. This is also the reason why 22 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes also suffer from gum diseases. 10 Reasons Why Dental and Oral Health Is Important.
We have mentioned that diabetes increases food production for bacteria to grow in your mouth. What this means that these bacteria accelerates your risk of contracting inflammatory diseases. When that happens, it destroys your gums and all the tissues holding your teeth together. Even bones are not spared. One of the symptoms among children is teeth appearing before then is considered normal. It makes the teeth extremely uneven with time. This demands further treating the shape of the teeth, which is not a healthy option when it comes to kids suffering from diabetes.
Poor Blood Sugar Control
In addition to the weakening of the immune system, poor blood sugar control is also a result of diabetes. This, in turn, leads to poor oral health. It vastly increases the risk of gum problems. Such a decrease in blood sugar control puts children into much unease. Similar to any kind of infection, serious gum disease may cause higher levels of blood sugar in the body. Thus, it is imperative that children be taken to the dentist quite regularly. There are now many advancements in the field of dentistry like the nasal mask which puts children at ease while going through a dental procedure. This would prevent suffering from gum disease to a great extent.
Susceptible to Infections
This is in relation to the previous point itself. When children are exposed to poor blood sugar levels in the body, it highly increases the risk of suffering from various infections in the body. This also includes those in the gums. Thus, it is also imperative that parents take care of what children are eating, to make sure the blood sugar levels are managed. Failure of such an action would lead to worsening of the symptoms. Living with diabetes is not as bad if necessary steps are taken to keep the symptoms under control. There are certain things in life which you cannot control, but there are a lot more things which you can take control of.
Longer Time to Heal
Wounds in the body take much longer time in diabetic children to heal. Similar is the case with oral wounds. They take a long time to heal. So, it requires utmost caution on the part of the child and also her parents to be very careful when she suffers from any sort of oral wound. If neglected, it would be translated into a disaster which you would not want for your child to go through. We have already learned about how much prone to infections a diabetic child is. Thus, these oral wounds might easily become a serious infection if not taken care of.
Weak Immune System
We have already established that diabetes weakens the immune system. This stems from the fact that the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body. Even if it does, the body does not have what it takes to make use of it. Such a problem leads to further weakening of the immune system. This makes the body susceptible to various gum diseases and infections. Again, if necessary precautions are taken, this can be managed to a great extent. One such treatment for children suffering from a weak immune system is mastication. This helps strengthen it to a substantial extent.
Diabetes also leads to children to produce less saliva in the mouth. When the mouth is dried up, it increases the chances among diabetic children to contract cavities. To avoid such a situation, children can do a number of things like brush their teeth twice daily and use floss. Besides, they should be encouraged to stay hydrated throughout the day and drink plenty of water. This increases the production of saliva in the mouth and also reduces plaque buildup, thereby reducing any risk of deteriorating oral health.
We have seen the various ways how diabetes among kids takes a toll on their oral health. However, when taken good care of and a regular visit to the dentist, any periodontal disease can be prevented to a great extent. A pediatric dentist can help manage the disease and provide a suitable treatment plan that would result in good oral health.