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Dental Care and Diabetes

By Jill Feilmeier on November 7, 2013 in Dental Health

Dentist sitting down with patient
During National Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to provide you with helpful information you can use in your daily life. Whether you are a diabetic or not, a healthy mouth can influence your overall health and the better you care for your teeth, the better your health will be.

If you have diabetes, one of the most important maintenance practices you can opt for is a good dental care routine. Diabetics are at serious risk for mouth infections, especially periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can damage the gum and bone tissue that holds your teeth in place and may lead to painful chewing problems.

Some people with serious gum disease can even lose their teeth (yes, their teeth FALL OUT!).

Why is it important for you to care for your mouth if you have diabetes? The quick answer is that gum disease may make it hard to control your blood sugar. Have you been following your self-management plan but are still having problems keeping your blood sugar under control? A look inside your mouth may have all the answers to your problems! It works both ways; if your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth (true story).

Why not take the easy way out and just take care of your teeth. If you control your blood glucose, brush and floss every day, and visit a dentist regularly, you can help prevent gum disease (and keep your teeth!).

If you have diabetes, here are a few tips to keep your whole body healthy:

Control your blood glucose.
• Brush and floss every day.
• Visit your dentist regularly. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes.
• Tell your dentist if your dentures (false teeth) do not fit right, or if your gums are sore.
• Quit smoking. Smoking makes gum disease worse. Your physician or dentist can help you quit.
• Take time to check your mouth regularly for any problems. You are the only one who has daily access to be aware of any problems you may notice.

During November, be aware of your dental care routine and note changes you can make to help you smile every day!

Do you have tips or suggestions for people with diabetes? Leave them in the comments below.