Good oral hygiene is important for everyone. However, there are special considerations to be aware of regarding diabetes and dental care. Diabetics are at increased risk for a variety of oral health issues, including dry mouth and inflammation of the gums.
They are also more likely to develop thrush, a fungal infection that occurs due to the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes. So, if you have diabetes, you should be sure to talk with your doctor or health educator about diabetes and dental health.
Diabetes Dental Care Tips
It’s not difficult to keep your teeth and gums healthy as a diabetic. You just need to be proactive about your oral health. Some of the keys to good diabetes dental care include:
● Be attentive to your blood sugar level. Keeping it as close to normal as possible can help you avoid infections.
● Brush your teeth after every meal. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after you eat before brushing, as the acid in foods can temporarily soften tooth enamel.
● Floss at least once a day. Removing food and plaque from between your teeth is important.
● Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles can irritate your gums.
● If you smoke, quit. Your doctor can talk with you about strategies for quitting.
● If you wear dentures, remove them at night, clean them and leave them out until morning. This gives bacteria fewer places to grow and multiply.
● Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily. If you get dry mouth, try a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol.
You should also talk with your dentist about your diabetes. S(he) may have additional strategies for helping you keep your mouth healthy.
Taking Control of Your Health as a Diabetic
Having diabetes doesn’t mean your oral health has to suffer. Once you know how the disease affects your teeth and gums, you can take steps to keep them in good shape. And if you notice any problems like soreness in your mouth, inflamed gums or ulcers, your dentist can help you address and resolve them promptly.
Learn about other types of diabetic risks or complications so that you can start being proactive about your condition.
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