Dental care is necessary to keep teeth healthy; people with diabetes have an even greater responsibility for their oral health. Diabetes reduces blood supply to the gums and patients are at higher risk of infection and tooth loss. High blood sugar also worsens gum disease and can cause dry mouth.
To help protect gums, teeth, and your overall health, here are some tips for diabetes patients:
1. Tell the dentist about your diabetes.
Remind all your health care practitioners about your health condition. Tell them the medications you are taking, and if the diabetes is currently under control. Give them the contact information of the GP who helps you manage your diabetes.
2. Watch for signs of gum disease.
If you find your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding, call your dentist immediately. Other key signs of gum disease include loose teeth, mouth pain, and dry mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to see a dental professional.
3. Brush at least twice, every day.
Brush well using a soft-bristled toothbrush and doctor-recommended toothpaste with fluoride. To avoid gum irritation and wear on your teeth, be careful not to brush too hard. An electric toothbrush works very well, especially for those arthritis or other issues that impede toothbrushing. Your toothbrush (or electric brush head) should be changed every three months.
Remember to floss at least once a day to remove plaque between the teeth.
4. Avoid tobacco.
Smoking can increase the complications of diabetes. Tobacco use (including smoking cigars, chewing tobacco, and using other forms of the product) delays healing from tooth extraction and increases oral cancer risk. Ask your doctors for ways to help you quit.
Good dental care is a lifetime commitment to great overall health. It’s especially important for anyone with diabetes. For professional dental services, call Simcoe Smile Dental at (289) 312-1482.