One of the many down sides of being a diabetic is that diabetes attacks your body in a multitude of ways. The loss of teeth caused by gingivitis and periodontal disease is just one more thing that we diabetics have to worry about. Fortunately, there is preventative maintenance that we can do prevent or at least delay what some say is inevitable. Until recently I never made the connection between missing teeth and diabetes. I just assumed that people I was seeing with missing teeth had been in accidents, did not have dental care, or wasn’t taking care of their teeth. I know several people with missing teeth and ironically they are all diabetics.
Perhaps this is why the dentist seems to focus more on the fact that I have diabetes than on cleaning my teeth when I have my yearly visits. Since this is an issue that is fresh on my mind, I now pay attention to products such as Parodontax®, fluoride, and other toothpastes and mouthwashes that help prevent gum disease. It is strange how you don’t seem to pay attention to something unless it affects you and I never thought about periodontal problems. M wakeup call came when I started experiencing a foul taste in my mouth upon waking in the mornings and blood in my saliva after brushing my teeth.
Luckily there is no shortage of dental tips for diabetics. In addition to oral care products, there are basic tips that I follow in order to keep the oral side effects of diabetes at bay. Instead of brushing once a day I now brush my teeth 2-3 times a day to keep my teeth and gums clean and to brush away any plaque or tartar build up. Flossing is a daily routine as well as floss can get into places that a toothbrush cannot. I also use a good mouthwash to kill any bacteria that can lead to dental problems. In addition to Parodontax® and Phillips Sonicare Breath Rx®, I’ve found that gargling with Listerine® after brushing with Aquafresh® toothpaste will instantly remove a bacterial film from my mouth leaving me with an enhanced feeling of cleanliness.
I guess that only time will tell if I too will succumb to the nasty dental effects of having diabetes but until then I will keep brushing, flossing, and hoping that I can keep all of my pearly whites intact.