Oral care is important for everyone, and especially for people who have diabetes. Diabetic people are more susceptible to developing infections in general, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, as diabetes can impair white blood cells (the body’s natural defense against infection). Diabetics may also suffer from dry mouth, thrush, and impaired healing of tissues in the mouth.
Studies have also shown that gum disease may increase blood sugar levels, making it harder for the diabetic to control their blood sugar. This puts the patient at further risk of complications related to both the diabetes and periodontal disease.
In order to prevent oral health problems, be sure to visit your dentist at least twice per year to detect any potential problems early on. Always inform your dentist if you are diabetic.
There are things you can do at home to improve the condition of your teeth and gums, such as brushing and flossing at least two times per day, using toothpaste containing fluoride, and limiting snacking, especially on foods which are high in sugar. Try to keep your blood sugar levels within normal range to further reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Contact your dentist right away if you notice any swelling or bleeding of the gums or tissues in the mouth.