5 Rules for Diabetics to Prevent Oral Health Problems
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, there are many health concerns that you need to be aware of every day, including your oral health. Many people are surprised to learn of the correlation between diabetes and higher risks for oral health problems.
One of the main concerns diabetics have to be aware of is the increased risk for mouth infection. The most common oral health problem associated with diabetes is gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and periodontitis, a serious gum disease. The lowered immune system of diabetics increases the risk of a mouth infection. It is more difficult for them to fight a bacterial infection making them more susceptible to gum disease. Unfortunately, if you develop gum disease, it can cause your blood glucose levels to rise making it harder to control your diabetes. Other oral health problems associated with diabetes include dry mouth and thrush, a fungal infection in the mouth. Common symptoms include gum soreness, cavities, and painful mouth sores.
Diabetes is already a difficult disease to manage daily; you don’t want to make it even more difficult by adding on oral health problems. Follow these rules to prevent any oral health problems associated with diabetes:
- Most importantly, control your blood glucose! Besides the other obvious benefits, controlling blood glucose levels can help prevent dry mouth caused by diabetes.
- Practice good oral health habits by brushing and flossing your teeth every day.
- Visit your dentist regularly and make sure he/she knows you have diabetes. Your dentist will tell you how often to make an appointment, but the suggested time period is every six months.
- If you have dentures, make sure to clean them everyday. It is also important for your dentures to fit properly.
- Quit smoking! Smoking will make gum disease worse.
If you have any concerns or notice any changes in your mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately.