Diabetes is a serious problem for the United States. And as cases continue to grow, it’s imperative that we read up on the ramifications of fluctuating blood sugar. If you’re diabetic, you need to be paying even closer attention to your teeth and gums than other patients. With great oral hygiene and regular exams, you can avoid disease, but you’ll need to be proactive to keep it at bay.
We want to do everything possible to help you achieve a beautiful, strong, and disease-free smile. Let us know if you have diabetes or if you’re interested in upping your cavity defenses, and Dr. Asbury will offer her aid. In the meantime, learn a little more about exactly why diabetes is linked to oral health, and what you can do at home to monitor your risk level.
The Diabetes and Dental Health Link
Scientists are still learning more about exactly why the mouth is affected by diabetes. Emerging research suggests that the association is due to rapidly changing blood sugar. Patients with diabetes must take careful, daily pains to be sure that their blood sugar level is stable. If uncontrolled, associated responses in the body lead to a heightened risk of cavities and gum disease.
Just as changes in a diabetic’s blood sugar affect the mouth, so do changes in the mouth affect the diabetic’s blood sugar. It’s a dangerous feedback loop that can worsen both oral health and the diabetes, so keeping your teeth and gums health is incredibly important.
How to Keep Diabetes from Harming Your Smile
- Schedule routine dental exams – The standard interval is every six months, but Dr. Asbury may want to see you more often to be sure you’re not experiencing gingivitis, especially if you have a history of gum disease.
- Monitor your blood sugar level carefully – Follow your doctor’s instructions and respond to changing blood glucose appropriately. Schedule regular appointments with your primary care provider.
- Let your dentist know about the status of your health – We’ll be more helpful if we know as much as possible about your systemic health, and any recent complications related to your diabetes.
- Practice excellent oral hygiene – Brush twice a day and floss daily. Using a therapeutic mouthwash may also help keep your gums from becoming irritated.
- Postpone dental procedures if your blood sugar is not controlled/communicate this with your dentist
- React quickly if you notice your gums changing – Gingivitis is easy to treat in its early stages, but far trickier once it has developed.