When you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay due to your increased blood sugar. Plus, your body has a harder time fighting off infections and healing from mouth injuries. To make things worse, a dental infection can cause your blood sugar to be higher and more difficult to control. Therefore, it is important to have dental infections taken care of promptly. However, since you have diabetes, you'll need to take extra precautions when you go to the dentist for an invasive procedure such as a root canal. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Be Sure Your Dentist Knows About Your Condition
It's important your dentist knows you have diabetes, so he can treat you properly. If you have an episode of high blood sugar or low blood sugar, the dentist has to know the right way to respond. The stress of undergoing a root canal could be enough to cause your blood sugar to become elevated. If your dental appointment delays a meal, your blood sugar may drop too low.
Take Your Blood Glucose Meter To Your Appointment
Since there's a risk of your blood sugar fluctuating during treatment, your dentist might ask you to bring your blood glucose meter to your appointment. Ideally, your blood sugar should be in the 70-200 range before treatment begins. If your blood sugar is too high, the dentist may have you do relaxation techniques to lower stress, or exercise by walking around the office for several minutes to bring it down. If it remains high, your treatment will probably be rescheduled. If your glucose is too low, you'll need to raise it with a carbohydrate source as you usually do, so bring your gel or tablets to your appointment in case you need them. In addition to testing your blood sugar before the procedure, it is also a good idea to check it periodically during the root canal as well as after it's over.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Before Having Dental Work
It's best to avoid having dental work done when your diabetes is uncontrolled. If the infection is making it hard to keep your blood sugar down, the dentist may put you on antibiotics before the procedure to see if that helps. Be sure to take your medications regularly and monitor your glucose levels, so you maintain control of your blood sugar in advance of the root canal treatment. You may want to schedule your appointment for the time of day when your blood glucose is the most stable, which is often during the morning. Just be sure to eat your usual breakfast before you go.
Keeping your blood sugar regulated after the procedure is important too, so your mouth will heal properly. Since diabetes makes you more prone to infections, be sure to follow the dentist's orders for follow-up visits and antibiotic usage, so your mouth heals without complications.