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Find Out How Diabetes Can Affect Your Child’s Teeth

June 08, 2018 ABC Children's Dentistry

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that about 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. If your child is diabetic, you should know their oral hygiene is especially important. That’s because diabetes often leads to periodontal disease and other problems associated with dental health.

How do I know if my child has diabetes?

First off, it’s important to know there are several types of diabetes, but the most common are Type 1 and Type 2.

  • Type 1 diabetes refers to those whose bodies do not make insulin. Typically diagnosed in children and young adults, those with Type 1 diabetes take insulin daily.
  • Type 2 diabetes describes those whose bodies either do not make insulin or use it well. Diagnosis occurs at just about any age – including childhood.

Other forms of diabetes include gestational diabetes (develops among women who are expecting), monogenic diabetes (an inherited form) and cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • increased thirst;
  • fatigue;
  • receding gum line;
  • frequent mouth infections; and
  • gums that are frequently inflamed or bleed.

How can diabetes affect my child’s oral health?

High blood sugar can actually get in the way of blood reaching some body parts – including parts in the mouth. When this happens, the gums are unable to receive the nutrients needed to help fight bacterial infections. This can lead to periodontal disease, which affects the underlying bone holding your teeth in place.

What can diabetic children do to take care of their teeth?

The most effective way to protect your teeth against the effects of diabetes is to practice good oral health habits. This includes brushing at least twice per day and flossing. You should also be sure that your child is hydrated and has plenty of water so that the saliva levels remain effective in fighting plaque buildup.

For fun and effective pediatric dental care in San Diego, call ABC Children’s Dentistry.

We’re all about introducing, creating and delivering dental care to your child in a gentle, non-threatening and fun environment. Our customized approach will fit the unique individual dental needs of your child.

Call us at 858-780-9794, send us an email or reach us online.