6 Recommended Tips for Diabetes Patients to Maintain Oral Health.
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease which has an effect on all organ systems in the body, especially in absence of diabetes management regime. The major effect that diabetes has is on your oral hygiene. However, with proper diabetes management, timely care and the right approach, you can easily control the damage to your teeth and gums along with overall oral hygiene.
Oral Health Issues Related to Diabetes
The following issues come up for a diabetic patient when fluctuating blood glucose levels affect their oral hygiene:
- Gum disease
- If a tooth is extracted, healing becomes slow
- Oral infections including fungal infections such as thrush
- Dry mouth and effect on taste buds
- Deposit of plaque which results in tooth decay, swollen gums and gum disease
Diabetes leads to fluctuations in blood glucose levels which increase the chances of gum disease. Diabetic patient experiences painful and swollen gums with pus formation may give you trouble over a long period of time since high blood glucose makes it difficult for gums to respond to any treatment or heal. Hence it is important to control diabetes. Severe gum diseases lead to damage in the bones that support your teeth and put you at higher risk of further teeth damage.
What To Tell Your Oral Health Professional
If you are diabetic consulting your dentist for your oral health issues, ensure you share the following details with the doctor, apart from your blood sugar levels readings:
- You have diabetes
- Your blood sugar levels are not under control
- You notice changes in your mouth like white patches
- Changes that have occurred in your medical history
- Names of any medications (prescribed or over the counter drugs) you are taking
How Can Diabetics Improve Oral Health
- The first and foremost necessity for oral protection is to quit smoking. Smokers have higher levels of gum diseases caused by poor blood circulation in the tissues around their teeth. Smokers add to their risk of developing dental problems more than non-smokers.
- Identify early signs of gum disease and start treating them.
- Maintain your healthy eating plan and take prescribed medications to maintain healthy living with diabetes.
- Ensure you brush twice a day and remove all plaque between teeth and gums.
- Floss using a dental floss on a daily basis.
- If you are using dentures, remove them overnight and ensure you clean them daily.
- Make sure you do not forget to visit your dentist regularly.
- Since insulin levels are normal in the morning, it is a good idea to visit the dentist regularly during that time.
- Try and maintain blood sugars to normal levels as high sugars lead to further dental complications and delay the healing process.
- Ask for expert guidance from your hygiene expert at the dental clinic to give you tips on expert cleaning and flossing.
Blood Sugar Test
It is very important to observe proper management of diabetes and maintain best oral hygiene if you have diabetes and hence consult your diabetes doctor before starting any medication for tooth pain etc. Ensure you manage your blood glucose levels well by taking regular readings from compact glucometer and record the data in diabetes management app. These readings from glucometer help your doctor analyse the trends and accordingly prescribe medication.