How to Care for Teeth When You Struggle with Diabetes
Posted on 8/10/2019 by Emerson Todd Rowley, DMD
Around 30 million Americans, or nearly 10% of the U.S. population, is diabetic today, according to the CDC. This means they have high sugar levels, which is something that can affect every part of your body – even your oral health.
How Diabetes Affects Your Mouth
When you don't know you have diabetes or you can't get your numbers under control it will affect your mouth. The main way in which this happens is that you'll have less saliva. You'll know this is happening because your mouth will feel dry. You don't want this to happen because you need saliva to protect your teeth from cavities.
Even when your numbers are under control, you're still much more prone to gum disease. It's so common among diabetics that about 22% of those who are diagnosed with diabetes has it. Poorly controlled sugar makes this an even bigger problem and, conversely, gum disease also increases your numbers.
Oral Health Care for Diabetics
Now that you understand the importance of good oral hygiene when you struggle with diabetes, it's important to put together a good oral health care plan. First of all, there are some habits you'll want to break.
The main one is that if you're a smoker, you should stop smoking immediately. From there, it's vital for you to get your blood sugar levels under control by taking your medication as directed, eating a healthy diet, and getting more exercise.
Once you've made these changes in your lifestyle, make sure you're brushing your teeth properly. This means using a soft-bristled toothbrush with toothpaste containing fluoride twice daily for two minutes each time. Make sure you're also flossing and using mouthwash.
You also need to make sure you visit our office on a regular basis. If you don't already have an appointment scheduled, make sure you call us and schedule one today.