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Diabetes Double Trouble

Posted on February 4, 2013 in General oral health

diabDiabetes is a real threat that demands attention day in and day out. I'm sure your familiar with some of the problems diabetes can cause. Spiked blood sugar, weight gain, and frequent infections are only a few of the conditions people with diabetes have.

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 hold your teeth in place and may lead to painful chewing problems. Some people with serious gum disease can even lose their teeth.

Why is it important for diabetics to care for their mouth?

The quick answer is that gum disease may make it hard for a diabetic to control his or her blood sugar. Diabetics know well that controlling blood sugar levels is a key to preventing many serious complications of diabetes such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. But research also suggests a two-way relationship between serious periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to severe gum disease, but it may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Dentist visits are crucial because oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are often reversible if they are diagnosed early and preventive treatments are delivered. Dentists will also check for other common mouth conditions that afflict people with diabetes such as dry mouth, ulcers and infections. Mouth conditions may also be a sign that other medical conditions exist elsewhere in the body.

Here are a few tips for diabetics 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 notice.

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.