Tooth are meant to last a lifetime, but sadly that is not the case always. Teeth are lost due to various reasons, some of them require that they are extracted to maintain oral health. Tooth decay, gum diseases, crooked teeth, ‘too many teeth’, improper alignment or trauma to the mouth can all result in tooth extraction. Tooth extraction is also required for children where the milk teeth give way to permanent teeth. Sometimes they do not fall off naturally, so they need to be pulled out. But this simple tooth extraction needs to be considered carefully if one is a diabetic.
Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a condition in which there is a high blood sugar level. In a healthy body, insulin is secreted and this hormone converts the extra sugar into glucose for storage in the body. This forms the source of energy for the body. But in the case of diabetes, the insulin secretion is less and therefore the body is not able to convert excess sugar into glucose. Or it can also be that the insulin generated in the body is not able to function well. The common types of diabetes are diabetes 1 and diabetes 2. The former is an autoimmune system issue in which the cells that make the insulin are destroyed. In the type 2 situation, the body becomes immune to the insulin function and the sugar level builds up in the body.
Having a large amount of sugar level is the blood is detrimental to health. This can affect adversely the working of nerves, kidneys and other major organs. Some of the common symptoms seen with diabetic patients are increase hunger and thirst, weight loss and fatigue. Another major symptom that is seen is the slow healing of wounds. High blood sugar level causes the stiffening of arteries and narrowing of blood vessels. When blood vessels are narrow, it is possible for only a small amount of blood flow. When wounds are formed, for their proper healing it is important to have good circulation of blood. As the circulation is impaired in diabetic patients, less oxygenated blood reaches the wound. Red blood cells and white blood cells which are important for passing nutrients and proper wound healing are not reaching the site of the wound. As a result wound healing slows down. This also results in a faster rate of infection setting in.
Tooth Extraction and Diabetes
The mouth harbours bacteria in huge numbers, they are present in all irrespective of being healthy or diseased. Bacteria act upon sugary substances and are attracted by the presence of sugar content. If the blood sugar level is high, bacteria will thrive in such a condition. Slowly working on the teeth enamel, they erode the protective covering and bring in infection to the pulp and possibly to the root of the teeth. The infection can also affect the gums and slowly they begin to lose the support they give to the teeth. Gum tissues become wasted as a result of bacterial action. Diabetic people have more chances of tooth decay and gum diseases because of this situation. The high content of sugar in the blood also slows down any possible repair action that can be taken in the oral cavity. As a result the infection can spread.
If tooth extraction is planned to preserve good oral health, then the information of being a diabetic must be shared with the dentist. This information will usually be checked during the session when medical history is taken of the patient. Dentists usually check the blood sugar level before extraction and they prefer the level to be 234mg/dl (13mmol/l). If the blood sugar level is higher then wounds formed after tooth extraction takes a longer time to heal. Blood clot formation is also delayed due to a high sugar level. This will result in bleeding from the point of procedure.
A safe procedure
Tooth extraction for diabetes patients is a safe procedure, the healing part takes time and that causes worry in many. But if the sugar level is in control then there is no harm in going for tooth extraction or any other dental procedures. If care is taken in following the medications for diabetes then there will no cause of worry. As with every other person, importance should be given to oral hygiene. More so if you are a diabetic as complications can set in if proper care is not taken.
Studies have shown that those who are on oral tablets have a healing time similar to that of non-diabetes. There is no need for any special precautions to be taken and there will not be any post-surgery complications. After care is also important after the dental procedure as this will help in proper healing. Food that is consumed should also be tracked. Diabetics should reduce the amount of sugary food or good high in carbohydrates, the same is the principle after tooth extraction. Keeping sure that the soft food that is consumed after surgery is low in sugar is very important. If the sugar level spikes up after surgery, then this will affect the healing process adversely. Make sure hard chewy food is not taken as this can put pressure on the part where surgery has been done and can split the suture. Discussing any doubts one has about the procedure with the dentist will be helpful.
Practicing good oral hygiene after healing is complete is also important. Brushing and flossing should be followed without any fail. More so if one is diabetic, as bacteria can multiply within minutes of attacking food debris in the mouth. This will attract more infections and dental problems. Going for regular dental consultations and also seeking the help of the dentist if one is not sure of the occasional toothache that comes in will help to keep at bay many dental complications.