Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dental care for the diabetic child

Yesterday was our big bi-annual visit to the dentist. Our Ashlyn, who is a Type 1 Diabetic, has slacked a bit on being faithful about brushing her teeth twice a day. In fact, I know there are some days when she doesn't brush them at all.....ewww!! I inspect all my children's teeth from time-to-time just to see if there is evidence of laziness going on in their mouths, and sure enough, last week I found a big 'ol cavity staring back at me from one of Ashlyn's big molars! After getting on her about brushing regularly, I went to my endocrinologist's office for my follow-up visit. While sitting in the waiting room, the story on the TV there caught my attention. There was a dentist talking who specializes in treating people with diabetes. What she said made so much sense to me, and I was left wondering why I had never heard it before!!
She said that in people who have high blood sugar levels, that extra sugar is in all parts of their bodies INCLUDING THEIR SALIVA. So they NEED to be brushing at least twice a day because they have a higher risk of developing cavities than those of us who don't normally have high levels of sugar in our mouths. That really struck me, as we have always struggled keeping Ashlyn's BS levels in the normal range. I double checked this information with our dentist yesterday and she agreed. I don't know how I had never heard that before or even thought of it that way. I guess this is a disease that we'll always be learning about, and always chasing down!!
Fortunately, that big cavity Ashlyn has is on a "baby" molar that is loose and on it's way out anyway, so we won't be getting it filled. Time to go brush some teeth!!


connie said...

Hi Brenda,

My name is Connie, I wanted to introduce myself to you. I have two daughters ages 2 and 4 years old who both have type 1 diabetes, they were diagnosed 11 months apart from each other and it has been an incredibly difficult, scary, and frustrating journey for us. I am new to blogging but not so new to diabetes, we have been living with this disease for almost 2 years now.

Like you, I had never heard about high blood sugar increasing the amount of sugar in your saliva, in fact we just took our daughter to the dentist about three weeks ago... funny, you learn something new everyday :) Especially when it comes to type 1 diabetes. Thanks for sharing that info.

Brenda said...

Hi Connie!!!!
I am so glad to meet you!!! Thank you for introducing yourself!!! YOU, YOU are my hero!!
I cannot imagine the terrifying times you've been through with both of your sweet babies having diabetes!! I know that the possibility is there that one or more of my other children could very well develop this disease as well, and it is not something that I take lightly. I also cannot imagine having such YOUNG ones with this. It's hard enough keeping on a 10 year-old to mind every morsel that goes into her mouth, but a TWO YEAR OLD??? My!! What very important and special things the Lord must have for your family!! I hope you will visit often and that maybe some of our experiences will be an encouragement to you and your family!! I hope you will also feel comfortable to comment often and share any of your tips that other families with Type 1 Diabetic children might be encouraged by!! Thank you again!! Blessings!!!