Diabetics Dental Care – Please Watch Your Mouth

Diabetics Dental Care

Now what do brushing got to do with diabetes? Well, actually a lot!

If you have diabetes, dental care and oral hygiene matters so much more. High blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body and this includes your teeth and gums as well. Thankfully prevention from this is very much in your hands.

With a high blood sugar level, following can go wrong in your teeth and oral cavity.

Tooth decay or cavities: Our mouth naturally contains several bacteria. When starch and sugar in food interact with these bacteria, a sticky film (plaque) forms on the teeth. The acids in plaque attack the outer surface of the teeth (enamel), leading to cavities. Higher the blood sugar level, greater is the supply of sugar and starch leading to more wearing away of teeth enamel.

Gingivitis or early gum disease: Diabetes reduces the ability to fight bacteria and brings down immunity. If plaque is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, it will get hardened under the gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). As this remains on the teeth for a longer time, it irritates the gingival (the part of the gum around the base of teeth). After some time, the gums can become swollen and start to bleed easily. This is called gingivitis.

Periodontitis or advanced gum disease: If and when left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which destroy the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Eventually, the teeth begin to loosen up and even start falling out.

Take Appropriate Dental Care

To help prevent damage to teeth and gums due to diabetes, stick to the following:

  • Make a promise to manage diabetes better: Monitor blood sugar levels and religiously follow all the instructions given by the doctor to keep the blood sugar level within the target range. The better one controls his blood sugar level, the less likely he is to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily: Brushing in the morning and at night is a must and ideally after any other meal and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride based toothpaste. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing as this can irritate the gums.
  • Floss your teeth once a day: Flossing helps remove plaque between the teeth and under the gumline. Regular dental cleanings: Visit the dentist at least twice a year for professionally done dental cleaning.
  • Make sure to let dentist know you have diabetes: Every time you visit your dentist, remind him or her that you have diabetes.
  • Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease like redness, swelling or bleeding gums to your dentist. Also, keep an eye on dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking increases the risk of aggravating serious diabetes complications, including gum disease. Quitting is the best option.

Managing diabetes well will reward you with an improved overall health status and a healthier teeth and gums.