Patients who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes face several challenges, including a greater risk for dental problems. Fortunately, with proper management, these problems can be avoided.
Here’s what to expect for your oral health after you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Impact of Diabetes on Oral Health
- Having diabetes can impact your oral health, and your oral health can impact your diabetes. Therefore, it’s important to keep both in check.
- Diabetics are more susceptible to dental problems due to higher blood sugar levels. When a patient’s diabetes is not well controlled, his or her saliva contains increased amounts of glucose, and this glucose-filled saliva will cling to the teeth and create plaque. Plaque can ultimately lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
- The presence of gum disease can cause higher blood sugar levels, causing the diabetes to progress.
Managing Your Dental Health With Diabetes
After your diagnosis, going to the dentist on a regular basis becomes even more important. Just as you’ll need to monitor your blood sugar, your dentist will need to monitor your oral health closely.
- See your dentist every six months for regular exams and cleanings. Make sure your dentist is aware that you are diabetic.
- As your mouth is now more susceptible to decay and gum disease, be vigilant about brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Keep your diabetes under control to the best of your ability. This is good for your overall health, but in particular, it helps keep your blood sugar in check, which decreases your risk for cavities and gum disease.
Having diabetes means it becomes even more important to take care of yourself. By taking a little extra time to maintain your oral health, you can improve the health of your entire body.