Understanding How Diabetes Can Affect A Child's Oral Health

If your child has diabetes, then you know that all the body systems are adversely affected by the disease. And, when it comes to oral health, diabetes has quite a few drastic effects that must be addressed and managed. Keep reading to learn about some of the issues facing your child's oral health and what your dentist will do to encourage good tooth and gum care.

How Does Diabetes affect Oral Health?

The most significant oral health issue concerning your child with diabetes is gum disease. Diabetes affects the gums in a few different ways. The illness can lead to high blood sugar levels and this will, in turn, cause a great deal of inflammation. Inflammation can damage the delicate tissues and bleeding is likely once blood and fluids surge to the affected area. Also, small blood vessels, like the capillaries that sit in the gum tissues, will become damaged due to the influx of sugar. This will reduce blood flow and the tissues may start to degrade when they do not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need. 

Additionally, when it comes to children, diabetes can lead to the acceleration of tooth eruptions. This means that the teeth pop through the gums earlier than they should. When this happens, the teeth are not able to build a strong and hard layer of minerals along the exterior. Enamel may be weak and prone to cavities. Cavities are an overall issue with diabetics since bacteria thrive on the sugars that flow through the blood. 

How Can A Pediatric Dentist Help?

Pediatric dentists will help your child to retain their oral health. They will monitor tooth eruptions to gauge whether or not the teeth are popping through the gums early. They will also keep a close eye on the gums to make sure that gum disease is not developing. If it is, then a gum cleaning regimen may be started that involves the use of water flossers, antibacterial rinses, and possibly oral antibiotics. 

Additionally, the teeth will be examined for cavities on a regular basis. If your child's blood sugar levels are not controlled as well as they should be, then oral examinations may need to be scheduled more often than the typical six months. 

Dentists will often help you to understand how nutrition can play a role in the control of diabetes. So, you can expect to hear about the best foods that your child should eat for both oral health and diabetes control.