Over 1.25 million adults and children suffer with diabetes. And many of those people don’t realize it, but diabetes puts you at risk for dental problems. Having high blood sugar encourages the growth of bacteria and contributes to gum disease.
Signs you may have gum disease include:
- Gums that are red, sore, bleeding, or swollen, or that pull away from your teeth;
- Loose teeth;
- Chronic bad breath;
- An irregular bite or dentures that don't fit well.
So how can you keep your mouth healthy if you suffer with diabetes?
Control diabetes to keep your smile. Well-controlled diabetes helps keep your mouth healthy. If you have poorly controlled or high blood sugar, you have a higher chance of dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss and fungal infections like thrush.
Visit your dentist on a regular basis. People with diabetes are more likely to have oral infections, so you should get dental checkups at least twice a year.
Keep plaque at bay. Untreated plaque turns into tartar, which builds under gum lines and is hard to remove with flossing. High blood sugar can make gum disease worse.
Brush daily and do it properly. When you brush your teeth twice a day, it not only keeps your breath fresh, but it also helps rid your mouth of bacteria that makes up plaque.
Floss daily. Floss can reach where a toothbrush can't, like between the teeth. Do it every day, using floss and interdental cleaners.
Rinse it away. Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash every day to freshen your breath, remove debris from your mouth, and help fight off gum disease and plaque buildup.
Take care of your dentures. Loose-fitting or poorly maintained dentures can lead to gum irritation, infections and even fungal infections like thrush.
Kick the habit. Tobacco products are bad for anyone's mouth. But if you have diabetes and you smoke, you have even higher odds of developing gum disease.
Know the warning signs. Regular dental checkups are important because your dentist can spot gum disease even when you don't have any pain or symptoms.
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from the effects of diabetes, proper dental care is imperative to your oral health.
If you have any questions or it’s been more than six months since your last appointment – don’t hesitate – call our office today to schedule a consultation!