Dental Care and Diabetes: 5 Tips to Support Your Oral Health

Dental & Diabetes

Did you know there are more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people on Earth?1

November is National Diabetes Month, and for the 24 million Americans living with diabetes, those germs are more likely to settle in the mouth, placing diabetics at a higher risk for gum disease.

Here are 5 tips diabetics should consider to prevent dental-related problems associated with the disease:

  1. Control your blood glucose level: Poor control of blood sugar further increases your risk of developing oral health problems. Proper blood glucose control can also relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes
  2. Stay connected with your dentist: Visit your dentist every 6 months to have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked. Depending on the severity of your condition, your dentist may recommend that you receive more frequent checkups. Make sure he or she knows about the status of your diabetes and the names and dosages of all medications you are taking.
  3. Take care of your teeth:  Floss daily, brush after meals and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your gums. If you wear dentures, make sure to remove them and clean them daily.
  4. Watch out for wires: If you have braces, be extra careful with what you eat (avoid sticky, chewy foods) and contact your orthodontist immediately if your mouth gets cut from a wire or bracket. People with diabetes may also take longer to heal, so follow your dentist’s treatment instructions closely.
  5. Avoid smoking: Smoking makes gum disease – as well as a number of other health issues – worse. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

What do you do to protect your gums from gum disease? Help others by sharing your comments below.

1. Source: The American Diabetes Association