People with diabetes tend to experience gum disease more often, making dental care a bigger challenge than it might ordinarily be.Gum disease can lead to infections, bleeding or uneven gums, and loosened or lost teeth. Below are a set of tips to help diabetics manage their dental health.
Diabetes Dental Care Tips
- Brush and floss daily. Accumulated bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and lead to infections that take a long time to heal. Brushing and flossing every day can help remove bacteria and prevent infections before they start. Be sure to use a soft bristle and fluoride toothpaste.
- Control your blood glucose. Periodontal disease can make it difficult to control your blood sugar, so be sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to maintain acceptable blood glucose levels.
- Get regular checkups and dental cleanings. See your dentist at least every six months. Numerous studies have shown that patients who have experienced gum disease should have their teeth cleaned every three months to prevent recurrence or continuation of the disease.
- Have your doctor consult with your dentist before dental surgery. It may be necessary to adjust your diabetes medication prior to surgery or to take an antibiotic to ward off infections.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease. Studies have shown that smokers may have an impaired response to gum inflammation, which can cause gum disease and other problems to go unnoticed.
Taking control of your diabetes includes being proactive when it comes to dental care. With proper dental habits and open communication with your dentist, you can enjoy a lifetime of good dental health.