Health Care Tips from a Diabetic Dentist
Posted on: May 24, 2014
As a local dentist, we treat patients in all stages of health. Many of our patients come in after being diagnosed with diabetes. It can be overwhelming to learn that you have a disease and patients often have questions about how it will impact their oral health. Diabetes impacts all areas of the body and directly hurts the body’s ability to fight off infection. White blood cells are hindered in their ability to be a natural defense mechanism, making it important to identify other ways to prevent bacterial infections from starting and growing. Preventative care and education are extremely important for diabetics to know what steps to take in order to stay healthy and prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Taking precautionary steps will help you to feel better and avoid emergency dental situations. By working with a large variety of patients, we have identified our favorite tips for staying in good oral health while dealing with diabetes. Here is what you need to know. Keep Your Blood Sugar Under Control When you have spikes in blood sugar, it impairs your white blood cells, making your more prone to getting an infection. The two are directly related so when your blood sugar is controlled your body has an improved ability to fight all types of infection and bacterial disease. As a dentist we can treat your teeth and gums but you need to work with a physician to keep your blood sugar under control on a daily basis. Practice Preventative Care As a diabetic, it is important for you to focus on preventing oral health issues from developing. You can do this by following these tips: • Quit smoking. Diabetics that smoke have a 20 times greater chance of developing oral health issues than non-diabetic, non-smokers. The risk to your overall health is simply not worth it. Get the help you need to quit. • Brush after each meal. Carry a small toothbrush with you and use it to gently brush your teeth after eating. This will remove bacteria and plaque that gets onto your teeth from eating and drinking. • Use an antiseptic mouthwash. This will freshen your breath and kill bacteria. It is an easy way to improve your oral health, and you can buy it in a travel size to carry with you. Use this instead of eating mints. • Floss every day. Don’t forget to floss! Food and bacteria can get stuck in between your teeth and cause gum disease. Flossing is an important preventative measure. • Visit the dentist. It is important to see the dentist at least twice a year when you have diabetes. Since your body has a hard time fighting bacterial infections, teeth cleanings become essential for staying in good health. We can remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar that you were unable to at home. This will help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. By keeping your blood sugar under control and following our dental care tips, you can avoid oral health issues. Being a diabetic doesn’t mean that you will automatically get cavities and gum disease. Whether or not you develop these issues is up to you. Focus on preventative care so that you can stay healthy.