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Teeth + gums - is it really much more serious with diabetes?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by HLW, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. HLW

    HLW Active Member

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    A few months ago I had some bleeding + swelling on part of my gums, I rang NHS direct and when I told them I had diabetes (and wasn't registed with a dentist in the place I was staying) they told me to make an emergency appt. I felt like a bit of a fraud at the appt, all the other people waiting for appointments were pratically moaning in pain, my teeth weren't even hurting enough to take pain killers (although both NHS direct and the dentist tried to persuade me to take them, which I thought wasn't very good at all).

    Is it really necessary to go to the dentist for such seemingly minor things just because I have diabetes? My wisdom teeth are impacted and are swollen and hurt sometimes, I never know whether to bother going to see the dentist about them, as they usually get better in a couple of days.
  2. hanadr

    hanadr Well-Known Member

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    If your diabetes is Well controlled ( at non-diabetic level) you are not at much more risk, but if not the you are vulnerable to all sorts of things. If wisdom teeth are impacted, that's a hospital thing nowadays. You need to find a dentist to get youresef referred. Ring your PCT for a list of dentists.
  3. Dennis

    Dennis Well-Known Member

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    Hi HLW,

    Here's a link to information elsewhere on this website about periodontal disorders and diabetes.

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-comp ... sease.html

    There was a study done in the States just last year that showed that not only were diabetics who are poorly controlled more likely to have gum disease, but the gum disease itself raises blood sugar and so makes it more difficult to attain control.
  4. saz1

    saz1 Active Member

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    Just to get off the rails, do we get free dental care or are we entitled to NHS rates or what?
  5. Fenster

    Fenster New Member

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    I was listening to a Dr. Bernstein telecast last night. And he stated the first question he asks a patient that phones him and states his good blood glucose control has suddenly gone to high numbers, with no apparent reason, have you been to the dentist lately ? So often a gum or tooth infection is the cause.

    Fenster
  6. Dennis

    Dennis Well-Known Member

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    Hi Saz,

    People with diabetes who are on medication qualify for free prescriptions and eye tests, but not dental care. You can only get dental care at NHS rates from a dentist who takes NHS patients, if you can find one. For various reasons, very few dentists will now take adult NHS patients although many will treat children under the NHS scheme.
  7. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser Well-Known Member

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  8. HLW

    HLW Active Member

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    From reading that page it seems it has too be quite bad before it starts raising blood sugar? My teeth/gums have never been that bad, so I don't think I need to worry.

    Re: NHS vs private, I've heard nasty things about NHS dentists removing teeth because that is quick and cheap, rather than doing a long and expensive treatment that could save the teeth, becauase the dentist doesn't get paid much more for doing the more expensive treatment, so makes less 'profit' on it. But I don't know how true this is.
    They can remove some of my teeth though if they want though, not room for my wisdom teeth atm. I've already had 4 out when I was a child because of overcrowding, maybe I just have an abnormally small mouth? or abnormally large teeth or something.
  9. lilibet

    lilibet Active Member

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    At my last clinic appt there was a dental research person looking for 5yrs plus diabetics who dont smoke , for a study. I was speaking to her and she indicated that they always knew the link between poorly controlled diabetes and dental problems but they are now very much on the track that gum disease is more prevalent by virtue of just being diabetic, irrespective of hba1c.

    I said, great I'll add it to list of retinopathy, kidney failure, cardiovascular risks, neuropathies, Alzheimers, reduced life expectancy and sexual problems.
    Though hopefully not all in the one year..................... :lol:
  10. Bubsy Malone

    Bubsy Malone Active Member

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    Trust my mum to do things back to front, she was only diagnosed T2 4 years ago but she had her top set of teeth taken out when she was 15!! No wonder she's always had a phobia of dentists!
  11. lorilainey

    lorilainey Member

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    Re: Teeth + gums - is it really much more serious with diabe

    I have first hand knowledge of this. I had bad glucose control, and suffered gum disease, my teeth started to separate, and I had big gaps in between them. The gum disease got so bad that I had to have 3 of my bottom front teeth removed, and I now have a denture, and have had it for 2 years. I can't eat with the denture in as its too painful when food gets trapped underneath it and wedges against the your gum underneath your tongue

    In hindsight, I wish I had had better control, but I was still at the denial stage, having not long been diagnosed. My advice is take very good care of your teeth, as I can tell you its no fun having to try to discreetly take your denture out in restaurants in order to eat!

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