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Diabetes and your oral health

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If you have diabetes or have a loved one who has this disease you probably know the many reasons to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, did you realize that diabetes could also affect your oral health? Maintaining good oral hygiene along with controlling your blood glucose is key to having a healthy mouth.

Risk of Periodontal Disease

Did you know that being a diabetic you are susceptible to infections of the mouth? The most serious is periodontal disease. This disease damages the gum and bone that hold teeth in place causing pain during chewing. Tooth loss can also occur with more advance cases of this disease. Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health but can also make it harder for you to control you blood glucose levels.

Diabetics Are Also At Risk for Fungal Infections

Besides periodontal disease, diabetics are at risk for a fungal infection called thrush. Thrush causes painful white patches to appear inside of your mouth. Dry mouth and increased glucose levels in your saliva are primary causes of thrush in diabetics.

Oral Care Tips for Diabetics

These tips can help people with diabetes improve and maintain good oral health:

  • Control blood glucose levels. Adopt a diet that is low in refined sugars and fat. Exercise daily to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Take your diabetic medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Brush teeth for at least two minutes twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse mouth with a mouthwash that has germ protection, for 30 seconds at least twice a day.
  • Visit the dentist at least every six months for dental checkups.
  • Quit smoking if you currently are a smoker. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease and makes it worse.

Check your teeth and mouth regularly for any changes like bleeding gums, soreness, white patches, dryness, or a bad taste in your mouth. These are signs you will need to visit your dentist to find out if a serious dental health issue exists. By keeping your blood glucose at a healthy level and applying good dental practices, your oral health can be maintained.

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