Diabetes is a very common illness in the United States, affecting about 1 in 10 Americans. It comes with a number of conditions and ailments to navigate, and it can wreak havoc on your oral health if it is not properly addressed. If you are one of the millions of Americans who struggle with this disease, it is so important to practice good dental hygiene.
Diabetes results in too much sugar in the blood, which weakens your body’s white blood cells (your first defense against infection). With a high blood sugar level comes a high sugar level in the saliva. As bacteria feeds off of sugar, this bacteria can cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to take care of your oral health while combating diabetes.
To start, you need to schedule regular dental check-ups. Preventative care, including twice-yearly cleanings and x-rays as needed, will help to stop issues before they get out of control. Following a diabetes care schedule can also help you maintain healthy oral hygiene.
Additionally, make sure to follow the basics of healthy dental care, including:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so infected gums cannot heal. It also causes people to have more dental plaque.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth and supports a healthy smile.
- Monitor for signs of gum disease (swollen, red, or bleeding gums) and visit your dentist as soon as symptoms arise.
Treatment for oral issues due to diabetes depends on which condition you develop. If you struggle with gum disease, your dentist may prescribe a special mouth rinse or refer you to a periodontist. Other issues, such as cavities and decay, can be treated and monitored by your regular dentist.
Don’t forget to tell your dentist if you have diabetes!
Your diagnosis is an important aspect of your oral health, and making your dentist aware of your condition can ensure that you are taking every precautionary measure possible. With the right treatment plan in place, you can maintain a happy and healthy smile along with your diabetes!
Reach out to Maitland Ave Smile Co. today to learn more about your options for treating gum disease.
Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, wisdom teeth, and teeth whitening.