Tips For Maintaining Oral Health When Suffering From Diabetes
Suffering from diabetes means that you need to be extra vigilant about your oral health because the disease increases your risk of developing oral health problems. Diabetes lowers the body’s ability to combat harmful mouth bacteria and high blood sugar boosts bacteria growth. Because of this, people with diabetes are often much more prone to develop gum disease. Below we cover how you can prevent diabetes from having very adverse effects on your oral health.
Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
If your diabetes is very well controlled this will help you maintain good oral health. Badly controlled diabetes and high blood sugar however will increase the risk of gum disease, dry mouth and tooth loss. Conversely, if you have bad oral health, this may cause your diabetes to become harder to control because mouth infections can increase your blood sugar.
Regular Dental Checkups
Anyone should see their dentist at least twice per year, but for people with diabetes this is especially important. Tell your dentist that you have diabetes and also inform them about the medication that you take. With this information your dentist should know to check extra carefully for any signs of gum disease or other problems during your checkups.
Brush and Floss Daily and Correctly
Brush your teeth at least twice per day to fight off bacteria and prevent dental plaque. Brush for at least 2 minutes, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line and brushing in a circular or vertical motion. Never brush horizontally. Make sure that you brush all of your teeth completely, also the ones in the back that can be harder to reach. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
Flossing helps prevent plaque that can build up in between your teeth. It’s very important to floss every day because a toothbrush can’t reach in between your teeth very well. If you don’t know how to floss correctly, you should ask your dentist or look up a YouTube video.
Smoking is a very harmful habit, but is even more dangerous for people with diabetes. People with diabetes who smoke have a much increased risk of developing gum disease. Tobacco has been shown to potentially damage gums and lead to gum recession. Severe gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. Quit smoking before it causes too much damage.
Eating healthy helps keep your diabetes under control and can also improve your oral health. Especially avoid sugary foods and foods containing a lot of refined carbohydrates. A diet that helps control diabetes is generally also a great diet for keeping oral health under control.
Care For Your Dentures
If you have dentures it’s important to keep them clean and well-fitting. Properly clean your dentures every day to decrease the risk of infection. Also make sure to regularly see your dentist and tell them if your dentures don’t fit that well anymore. Dentures that don’t properly fit can cause damage to gums and lead to infections.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe, a Sugar Land dental office. Zane is glad he never started smoking.