If you are diabetic or have a loved one who has been diagnosed with this disease, there are many things in your life that you have to be mindful of each and every day. The complexities of living with diabetes are great and can’t be overlooked. One area of your overall health that needs significant attention if you have diabetes is your oral health.
First things first, if you have diabetes or were recently diagnosed, be certain to tell your dentist about your condition and let them know what type of medications you are taking. It is best for diabetic patients to schedule morning dental appointments. It is important to eat a good breakfast and take your insulin before your appointment. Always bring a glucose meter with you to dental appointments, and be sure to keep your dentist informed of any issues like dry mouth, bad breath or any changes in your dental health like changes in taste.
It is a known truth that diabetics have a greater risk of developing gum disease (periodontal disease) and the gum disease could worsen quickly leading to tooth loss and infection. Diabetics commonly find that they suffer from dry mouth and that healing is slow and difficult after oral surgery or certain dental procedures.
The increased risk of gum disease for diabetics is due to diabetics having high levels of sugar (glucose) in their saliva. Oral bacteria love sugar and thrive in a glucose rich environment. When the bacteria from plaque attack the gum tissue, infection can follow. It is important for diabetics to maintain blood glucose levels for their overall health and oral health. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can help keep gum disease at bay. It is vital for diabetic patients to regularly schedule professional teeth cleaning by an experienced dental hygienist and to maintain regular dental checkups. Please be sure to call your dentist if you begin to experience any oral health concerns like irritated or bleeding gums, gum recession, inflammation or tooth pain.