Diabetes and Your Oral Health
Everyone knows that oral health is important. Most people are aware that certain things like smoking, sugar, lack of brushing and other bad habits increase the risk of oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Did you know that having diabetes also has a negative effect on your oral health?
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics who have a difficult time controlling their blood sugar levels are at an increased risk of gum disease and gingivitis. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live with gum disease forever. Diabetics can control and help prevent gum problems with proper dental hygiene and extra preventative measures.
Preventative Measures for Diabetics
Practicing good dental hygiene and receiving proper dental care is something everyone should do, but since diabetes tends to make dental matters worse, diabetics need to take extra precautions to help prevent gum problems or worsening gum disease.
- Daily brushing and flossing is essential. Talk to your Colorado Springs dentist to find the right toothbrush and recommended toothpaste.
- Keep dentures, bridges and other dental equipment in optimum working order. If something doesn’t fit right or is causing pain, have it checked out and fixed immediately to prevent irritated gums and sores.
- Try to maintain and stabilize blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels greatly increase the risk of gum disease, including severity and frequency.
Home prevention methods are an important start to preventing gum problems and should become part of your natural daily routine. However, regular dental checkups and extra cleanings are essential to gum health and preventing gum disease when diabetes is trying to complicate things.
Warning Signs of Gum Problems
Even with extra preventative measures, diabetics are still more susceptible to gum problems. Knowing what to look for and seeing a dentist immediately is essential for treatment and prevention of additional problems.
- Bleeding gums – It is not normal for gums to bleed with regular flossing and brushing. This is usually a first sign of gum problems, even if the gums are not painful.
- Red, swollen gums may also become tender and bleeding may occur from swollen areas. Gums might itch or be more painful.
- Gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth or part of the root. Teeth might feel extra sensitive to warm and cold liquids.
- Teeth may feel loose or feel like they’ve moved. Biting sometimes feels different or partial dentures no longer fit properly.
- Dentures become painful, rubbing on the gums and causing sores. Sores caused by dentures may not heal quickly and require special treatment.
The important thing to remember is that even if the gums aren’t painful, treatment should begin with the first warning signs to prevent additional problems.
If you’re diabetic and have any of the signs of gum disease, mouth sores or other dental concerns, contact us at Stellar Hills Dental to discuss your options and schedule a basic checkup. Be sure to let the dentist know you’re diabetic.