If you are diabetic and have lost one or more teeth, you may be considering dental implants. A dental implant is used to replace the dental root of a tooth. During an implant restoration, a titanium rod or screw is implanted into your jawbone and allowed to heal over the course of several months. Throughout the healing process, which is termed osseointegration, the implant fuses with your jawbone. This fusion causes the implant to become stabilized within the bone. In fact, a dental implant is as secured within the bone as a natural tooth.
After the implant has healed properly, it can be fitted with an abutment and a dental crown to complete the restoration of the missing tooth. Although dental implants are generally successful for diabetic patients, there are some precautions that an implant recipient with diabetes should observe. Here are a few of them.
Use Extra Gum Care
Because you have diabetes, you should pay particular attention to your gums when performing your oral hygiene regimen. The gums can easily become inflamed by bacterial acid that is in the mouth. As you clean your teeth and gums, you are removing oral bacteria that release acid after feeding on leftover food particles. This acid is the primary cause of tooth decay, but it is also inflammatory to the gums.
Due to your diabetic condition, wounds may take longer to heal. As a result, gum disease may progress more easily. If gum disease progresses to periodontitis, which is a severe form of the condition, it may result in dental implant failure.
To ensure that your gums are cared for properly, consider using an oral irrigator in addition to traditional brushing and flossing. The oral irrigator concentrates a stream of water at the gum line and in between the teeth to help remove debris and massage the gums. The massaging action promotes blood flow, which can help keep the gums healthy.
Maintain Proper Blood Sugar Levels
Fluctuations in blood sugar can also impact the amount of sugar present in your bloodstream and mouth. When there is extra sugar in the mouth, there is extra food available for oral bacterial. This increases acid production which exacerbates inflammation at the implant wound site.
To maintain your blood sugar, be sure to adhere to the diet prescribed by your physician. Also, it is important to take your medication regularly and in the proper dosage.
Work with your doctor and your dentist to learn more things that you should do if you have diabetes and are receiving a dental implant.