Diabetics often must monitor the foods that they eat as well as their overall health, including dental health, more than others because of the risk of issues that could arise with blood sugar levels and infections. Dental care is an important factor in the health of a diabetic.
The excess sugar in the body can sometimes cause more cavities to form and weaken the teeth. Sometimes, not taking care of your teeth can lead to heart conditions or a heart attack, especially in people who have diabetes and other heart problems that are already present.
Preventing Gum Disease
If gingivitis develops, then the gums will easily bleed and become soft. A few of the signs of gingivitis include swollen and red gums, tenderness, and bleeding when brushing. They might become painful as well.
When your gums are not cleaned properly, bacteria can begin to grow, leading to an infection. With an infection blood sugar levels can rise. Higher blood sugar levels are harder to control, especially if they last for long periods of time.
When your mouth dries out from a lack of drinking fluids, or because there isn’t as much saliva production, an infection called thrush can develop inside your mouth.
High blood sugar levels can cause thrush as well because of the high amount of yeast that can develop.
Some of the symptoms that you might notice include white patches on the sides of the mouth, a red or sore throat, and a burning feeling when swallowing.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you notice any of these signs so that you can begin taking an antibiotic. Keeping your mouth clean is essential if you’re a diabetic to prevent infections like this.
If your blood sugar stays high throughout the day, then more sugar is produced in your body and in your mouth. These sugars tend to settle on your teeth and can cause cavities if you don’t properly clean them.
Seeking regular dental care so that your dentist can X-ray your teeth and provide a thorough cleaning and examination can help to prevent cavities from forming. If there are cavities, they can be treated with fillings in most cases.
- One of the ways that you can help with your personal dental care, aside from visiting the dentist every six months, is to control your diabetes.
- Check blood sugar levels to see whether they are too high or too low, adjusting insulin levels as needed.
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride mouthwash after brushing.
- Try not to brush too hard to keep your gums from bleeding.
- A soft bristle is often best to use so that it’s gentle on your gums and teeth.
Diabetic Dental Care
When you visit your dentist, make sure they know that you’re a diabetic. Some kinds of toothpaste and other products used might have too much sugar in them, and there are methods that your dentist and hygienist can use to decrease the risks of bleeding while cleaning your teeth.