Diabetes is a condition that affects your body’s ability to process blood sugar. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, over 30 million Americans suffer from this disease. People who have Type I diabetes don’t make enough insulin while those who suffer from Type II diabetes stop responding to insulin. Both cases end up with high glucose levels which can cause problems with your eyes, heart, kidneys, and mouth.
Why Diabetics Are More Prone To Oral Health Problems
Diabetics are at a greater risk for developing periodontal diseases than those who do not have the illness because of the high amount of sugar present in the saliva which causes plaque buildup on his or her teeth. Excessive proliferation of plaque in your mouth increases your risk of getting dental problems such as cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and bad breath which often leads to infection that is severe and takes time to heal.
Here’s What You Can Do To Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Diabetes and dental care should be addressed concomitantly to spare to yourself from oral health and systemic problems. Here are the five dental care tips that will keep your mouth healthy despite having diabetes:
1. Managing your blood sugar levels is key.
Keeping your glucose levels under control is a surefire way to prevent the development of any dental problems. Ensure that you take your medications as directed by your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal range. Switching to a healthier diet helps your body fight any infection and ease dry mouth caused by this illness.
2. See your dentist regularly.
Let your dentist know that you have diabetes so he or she will be on the lookout for any tell-tale sign of gum diseases such as redness, bleeding, and swelling. Scheduling oral prophylaxis and dental check-ups twice a year will not only help you keep your mouth healthy but it will also help decrease your glucose levels. Most importantly, do not hesitate to ask your dentist any question you may have about how diabetes will affect your oral health.
3. Brush your teeth every after meal.
Plaque comes from bacteria combined with sugar and starch found in food. To prevent plaque buildup, it is best that you brush your teeth every after meals and snacks. Brush your teeth thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride but do not brush your teeth and gums too hard to avoid irritating and bleeding in your gums.
If you are wearing dentures, make sure that you clean them twice a day to prevent thrush, a common fungal infection among denture-wearing diabetics.
4. Quit smoking.
Living a healthy lifestyle is crucial in the prevention of any serious complications caused by diabetes. Studies show that smokers with diabetes are 20 times more likely to develop thrush and periodontal diseases. Smoking also hinders the blood flow to the gums which might slow down the healing process in the infected area. Quitting this bad habit will significantly reduce your chance of getting any infection and improve your oral health.
5. Don’t forget to floss.
Some people neglect to floss, thinking that brushing is enough to keep their teeth and mouth clean. Flossing your teeth helps prevent plaque buildup in between your teeth and along the gum line especially in those hard to reach areas. Using waxed dental floss is highly recommended to get it through your teeth much easier.
Proper dental care is a vital part of managing diabetes. It goes hand in hand and it’s a lifelong commitment. The good news is, you don’t have to do this alone. If you need help with diabetes and dental care, team up with your dentist and endocrinologist to be guaranteed of a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.
At Sunrise Dentistry, we offer holistic dentistry services especially for those who are suffering from diabetes. Our team of dentists is committed to providing the highest quality of dental care possible to keep your mouth healthy. Call our Durango office at (970) 247-3303 for more details.