Diabetes affects the nerves and blood vessels, which can make a person more prone to bacterial infections. People with diabetes are also more likely to have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a disease that leads to inflammation of the gums and destruction of the tissue that holds your teeth in place.
Diabetes increases your risk of developing oral health problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. These conditions can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and other serious long-term consequences. They are also more difficult to treat than healthy teeth and gums. In fact, studies have shown that people with type II diabetes are twice as likely to lose their teeth as people without diabetes. Conversely, controlling blood sugar through diet or medication can help lower your risk of cavities and infections in your mouth.
If you are a diabetic, here are a few oral care tips for you.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day
Brushing your teeth regularly helps remove plaque from your teeth before it can turn into calculus. When left unchecked, the bacteria in plaque can infect your gums and lead to gingivitis and, eventually, periodontitis. This can cause gum recession and even bone loss around the roots of your teeth, which can result in loose teeth and eventual tooth loss.
When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle circular motion to gently clean your teeth. Choose a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel and prevent decay.
Floss your teeth
If you've recently been diagnosed with diabetes or you're at risk of it, make sure you continue to floss every day. Flossing daily will help remove plaque between your teeth that you cannot reach with a toothbrush. Talk to our dentist about what type of oral care products will be best for you.
Visit dentist regularly
It is also important to visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. We look for signs of periodontal disease as well as oral cancer, and we can provide treatments like scaling and root planing to prevent the progression of the disease. We can also suggest the best at-home care products to help you keep your mouth clean and healthy in between appointments. With proper dental care and regular visits to the dentist, you can prevent many dental problems caused by diabetes.
Everyone knows how bad smoking is for your oral health. If you are a diabetic patient, smoking can do even worse things. For instance, smoking increases one's gum disease risk and can worsen diabetes. So, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your oral health.
Visit Georgetown Cosmetic Dentistry at 2440 M Street, NW, Suite 328, Washington, DC 20037, or call (202) 785-4141 to learn more about tips to maintain a healthy smile.