Patients who have diabetes especially need to be sure they take good care of their oral health and see a dentist on a regular basis. Diabetics are more susceptible to certain oral health problems than the average patient, and therefore should practice excellent oral hygiene as well as manage their blood sugar levels. Here are a few dental care tips for diabetics, courtesy of Dr. Silverman.
Why are Diabetics at Risk?
Oral health and diabetes can have a major impact on one another, so it is important for diabetes to be aware of the increased risks they face.
- High blood sugar levels are linked to an increased risk of tooth decay. Sugars and starches form plaque, which contains acids that destroy enamel and cause cavities. When a patient’s blood sugar is out of control, he or she is at a greater risk for decay.
- Diabetics are at an increased risk for gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, because diabetes makes it more difficult to fight infection. Untreated gingivitis advances to become periodontitis, which can be problematic for diabetics because the severe infection can raise blood sugar levels.
Dental Care Tips for Diabetics
Though maintaining good oral health can be more difficult for diabetics, it is certainly possible. Here are some ways diabetics can lower their risk for oral health issues:
- Become a dedicated brusher and flosser to remove food particles and acids from your teeth before they can cause tooth decay or gingivitis. Moreso than other patients, you will need to be diligent in your oral hygiene routine.
- Keep your blood sugar in control. This benefits your health as a whole, but in particular, it will make you less susceptible to oral health problems.
- See your dentist on a regular basis. Many oral health conditions do not present symptoms until they have advanced. Regular visits to the dentist make it easier to keep your oral health in check.
- Tell your dentist you are diabetic so that he or she can provide you with the best care possible.
There is a strong connection between diabetes and oral health. By maintaining both, diabetic patients can enjoy excellent oral health and prevent serious problems. For more information, or to schedule your next dental appointment and discuss how diabetes and your oral health are related, contact Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today!