This November, we’re ringing in American Diabetes Month to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes on your oral health. Diabetes not only takes a toll on the entire body but also on your teeth and oral health if not taken care of properly. To lead a healthy and fulfilling life, your dentists encourage special attention and care to manage your diabetes.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when you have too much sugar in your blood. Because of poor blood sugar control, you’re more likely to experience gum disease or periodontal disease. Symptoms of gum disease include tooth loss, gum inflammation, bleeding, tooth decay, and bone and tissue damage as well as serious to life-threatening infections.
Whether you have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, it’s vital to take extra care when managing your blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients with poorly regulated blood sugar levels risk not only gum disease but many other oral health conditions including dry mouth, cavities, and thrush.
Prevention is Key
With any condition, prevention is the best medicine. If you practice good oral health habits early on and manage your blood sugar levels, you won’t ever face any of these issues. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when practicing oral hygiene as a diabetic.
We all know the dangers of smoking. Blackened lungs, breathing issues, low circulation, and cancer are just some of the effects of smoking and tobacco use on the body. But smoking is also dangerous for a diabetic, complicating insulin dosages and making it harder to control your diabetes.
Watch The Sugar
When it comes to a disease related to blood sugar levels, it should be a no-brainer to limit sugar intake. While a sugar-heavy diet is detrimental to everyone’s oral health, sugar is especially risky for people with diabetes because of its connection to gum disease. The more sugar your mouth interacts with, the more plaque, a type of bacteria grows on your teeth. With a greater supply of sugar, not only does your blood sugar levels rise dangerously but acids from the plaque build-up attack and weaken your teeth’s enamel.
Whether you wear a retainer, mouthguard, or dentures, don’t forget to clean them before each wear. With harmful bacteria and debris clinging to the surface easily, these removable devices can be difficult to clean. The best way to wash your appliance is to scrub gently with a toothbrush under lukewarm water. Make sure to sanitize as soon as you remove your mouthpiece. If you want a deeper clean or notice bacteria stuck on the surface, bring your device to the local dental office for special cleaning.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
We’ve heard time and time again the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth. This advice is completely sound and true! Without proper care, your molars will rot and decay. Invest in a good quality toothbrush for use twice a day. When flossing, use the C-shaped method to wrap around each tooth, gently gliding the thread between each area. Try to rinse your mouth with water after every meal to remove any lingering debris around your molars. Forming good habits like this will take you far in your oral health!
Visit the dentist
We can’t stress this enough. Make sure to have regular check-ups with your local dentist. Your dentist can provide special care or tips for your oral health if you’re suffering from diabetes.