Diabetes results in elevated blood sugar levels which can have body-wide effects. While controlling these levels is an important priority for effective diabetes management, it’s also critical to control the other areas of the body this disease impacts. Specifically, people with diabetes may need to make some adjustments to their oral hygiene routine, as the condition can affect dental health.
A Guide to Oral Health for People With Diabetes
How Does Diabetes Influence Dental Health?
The mouth is home to many naturally occurring bacteria. When sugars are introduced, they interact with the bacteria and form plaque. Left unaddressed, plaque wears away at the tooth’s surface, which can contribute to cavities and gum disease. Elevated blood sugar levels mean the teeth are exposed to more sugars, thus increasing the amount of plaque in the mouth.
In addition to facing an increased risk for cavities, diabetes can also impede the body’s natural ability to fight bacteria. This could leave you more susceptible to both early stages of gum disease and its more advanced phase, periodontitis. If left unaddressed, this serious condition can lead to tooth, gum, and bone loss.
What Can You Do to Minimize Risks?
Luckily, mitigating the risks of serious dental complications is fairly simple with effective oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing at night can remove stubborn plaque from both the teeth’s surfaces and the gum line. Additionally, managing blood sugar levels may help control the amount of plaque that develops. Avoiding tobacco products and being on the lookout for signs of gingivitis, including bleeding, swollen, or tender gums, can also aid in prevention.
Additionally, you should tell your dentist you have diabetes. They may recommend more frequent cleanings to eradicate plaque and tartar. These professionals can also look for any early warning signs of cavities or gum disease, which can be acted on promptly to prevent further complications. Plus, they may suggest specific products you can use to boost your oral hygiene, such as mouthwashes formulated to protect against gum disease.
Whether you have diabetes and need specialized dental care or you’re simply due for a teeth cleaning, turn to Mammoth Spring Dental Clinic. Serving Fulton County, AR, this dentist’s office has been providing quality oral hygiene services since 1985. They offer a range of family and general dentistry solutions, including X-rays and treatments for children. Browse through more of their services on their website or call (870) 625-3262 to schedule an appointment today.