Do you know that people with diabetes have a high risk of developing gum disease? Diabetes can affect any part of you body including your mouth. When diabetes is out of control your mouth defenses are low, so germs are able to make gum disease worse and at the same time gum disease can make blood sugar levels higher and harder to control, so it is a two way relationship.
Sometimes gum disease can go undetected, because it is usually painless until you have real damage, this is why is very important to visit your dentist regularly and pay attention to any of these warning signs:
– Bleeding gums
– Bad breath
– Red or swollen gums
– Painful chewing
– Loose teeth
– Sensitive teeth
The good news is that you can avoid having oral health problems our improve your situation if you have diabetes with the following tips.
Control your blood sugar
Diabetes treatments depends on each patient and should only be recommended by his doctor, but these are some basic tips to control your blood sugar levels:
Keeping your mouth clean is first step to fight gum disease, that includes brushing and flossing. Experts recommend to brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially in the morning after you wake up and in the night before bedtime, to have a healthy smile. We have more tips on brushing that you can read at our blog post: Brushing your teeth 101.
Flossing is very important too, it cleans plaque and food from between your teeth and under the gum line where your brush can’t reach. The right technique to do this is to take about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, then hold about an inch space of floss with your thumb and forefingers and gently floss around each tooth.
Visit your dentist
You should tell your dentist if you have any type of diabetes and if you are taking any medicines or insulin to treat it. Also let him or her know if your blood sugar levels are high, the more information the specialist have the more they can help you to improve not only your oral health but also your diabetes. Research suggest that a well treated gum disease can help diabetic patients to control their blood sugar levels. So visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a check up is a good idea.
Smoking is bad for your overall health. Smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and their bodies are more resistant to insulin so they present higher blood sugar levels. Also smoking not only stain their teeth it weakens their immune system so it is more likely for them to have a gum infection and harder for their bodies to fight against it.