Guide to a Healthy Mouth
How is dental care connected to diabetes? Apparently, diabetes does have an effect on your teeth and gums. So, let us see how you can ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
With diabetes, blood glucose can reach a high enough level to cause problems to your whole body. That includes your teeth and gums. Fortunately, you can prevent any problem that it may bring to your teeth and gums.
Cavities and Gum Disease
Cavities from tooth decay.
There are so many bacteria in your mouth. Whenever you take food and sweet drinks into your mouth, the bacteria acts on these starches and sugars, and plaque is formed as a sticky thin layer on the enamel of your teeth. As plaque is acidic, it soon removes the protective enamel and cavities form. With higher blood glucose level, the amount of sugar and starches increases, resulting in further wear of your teeth’s enamel.
Gingivitis, an infection of the gums.
The ability to resist bacteria in your mouth is lowered by diabetes and the problem of plaque continues. Plaque has to be removed through everyday brushing as well as flossing to prevent it from hardening between the top of your gums and your teeth to form calculus (tartar). Plaque and tartar will irritate this part of the gum where your teeth emerge from it, the part we call gingival. Due to the irritation, the gums eventually swell up and bleeds easily in what is known as gingivitis.
Periodontitis, an advanced gum disease.
If no attention is given to gingivitis, a worse infection, known as periodontitis, will occur. This infection can damage the tissues as well as the bone that hold up your teeth. It can lead to your gums to loosen its hold on your teeth and have your teeth loose enough to fall off. Because diabetes reduces the capability to fight bacteria and to heal fast, periodontitis can be more serious among diabetics. This infection can also be the cause of a rise in blood glucose level, bringing further problems to your management of diabetes. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent or treat periodontitis fast to get your blood glucose back under control.
Proper Tooth Care for Diabetics -Video Guide
Good Dental Care
For good dental health, diabetics must regard diabetes and dental care as important aspects of their health. The following steps are important.
1. Be committed in your management of diabetes.
Ensure your blood glucose level is always inside the target range set by you and your practitioner by keeping good control of your blood glucose level through monitoring and following your practitioner’s directions. With control over blood glucose level, gingivitis or any other problems of the teeth and gums may never crop up.
2. Brush your teeth twice, if possible more times, each day.
Brush your teeth a minimum two times a day, once in the morning and then a t night. It better if you can brush after each time you consume food. When brushing, a soft-bristled toothbrush is suitable. Toothpaste with fluoride should be used. Avoid irritating your gums with too rough actions with the toothbrush. If arthritis and certain problems that present difficulty to proper brushing exist, the use an electric toothbrush may be the solution.
3. Floss your teeth.
To get rid of plaque in difficult to reach places at your teeth and gums, flossing is necessary. If there is a problem of having floss between your teeth, a waxed type can be helpful. You can get a floss holder so that it is easier to handle the floss. Flossing a minimum once each day can help prevent infection.
4. Visit your dentist twice a year.
For professional care of your teeth, have two appointments with your dentist a minimum two times each year. Make sure your dentist is aware you are a diabetic. To ensure no complications from low blood sugar arise during the dental visit, it is advisable to consume food before the appointment.
5. For dental surgery, get your dentist to discuss with your doctor.
If it is a dental surgery you are going to have, you have to get your dentist to talk to your doctor about your diabetes before the surgery. You may have to make appropriate changes to your diabetes medications. There may even be a need to take an antibiotic for the prevention of infection.
6. Watch out for gum disease.
Tell your dentist if you notice any indication of possible gum disease, such as inflammation, and swollen gums which bleeds easily. If other symptoms like dry mouth, mouth pain or loose teeth are present, inform your dentist.
7. Stop smoking.
Once you get diabetes, management of diabetes is for life. Good dental care has to be a part of the management. The reward is good, healthy teeth and held firmly in place by strong gums.