If you have diabetes, dive in a learn what to be cautious for, how to take charge of your oral health, and how your dentist helps fight diabetes.
High blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body including your teeth and gums. Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, it is vital to manage your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is too high, you can gain the risk of:
- Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth can contain different types of bacteria. When you eat or drink sugar food or liquid, the bacteria can create plaque and begins to form on your teeth.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia). You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. The cause f this could be due to medication. We need saliva to keep our mouth and teeth moist and without this, you could be at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and thrush.
- Early gum disease (periodontitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria. If you don't remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it will harden under your gum line and turn into tartar. The longer the tartar and plaque stay in between your teeth, it can irritate the gum line and base of your teeth. This is how gums start to bleed more easily.
- Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to a more serious infection. Periodontitis destroys the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth. With this infection, your gums and jawbone will start to pull away from your teeth to loosen and fall out. This is more severe to those battling diabetes because it lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. Periodontitis will always cause your blood sugar levels to rise, which makes diabetes more difficult to control.
You can take charge of your oral health by:
- Monitoring your blood sugar. Commit to yourself and manage your diabetes. You can do this by switching over to a healthier diet and moving your body by exercising.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking increases the risk of serious diabetes complications, including gum disease or tooth loss.
- Proper dental care. Floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gum line. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contain fluoride. Don't scrub hard o that will cause damage and irritation to your teeth.
- Communicate with your dentist. During every dental visit, let your dentist know you have diabetes. Professional care will be beneficial in keeping your smile stay healthy as well as slowing the progression of diabetes.
We can all have a healthy smile if we develop a plan, stick to a routine, and follow our dental provider's advice. To make an appointment or if you have any questions, please contact any of our offices or visit our practice at Hospitality Dental & Orthodontics!