15 Nov Diabetes and Dental Health
“I love nothing more than to talk about gum disease, dry mouth and oral fungus,”…said no one ever! Unfortunately for diabetics, the risk of developing one of these conditions is yet another perk of living with diabetes which makes this less than exciting conversation a necessity.
Like many other conditions associated with diabetes, you can reduce your chances of developing severe gum disease or other oral health problems. The first step is to keep your blood glucose level(BGL) under control. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with poorly controlled blood glucose levels are more likely to develop periodontitis or experience tooth loss associated with severe gum disease.
The second step–which is equally important as controlling your BGL–is to practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for a routine checkup every six months. Water piks(water flossers) are a great addition to your dental tool kit; and in some instances, your dentist may also recommend adding a mouthwash to your daily routine to increase protection against plaque and tartar that causes tooth decay and gum disease. For those battling worsening periodontal disease, Perio Trays are an easy way to get ahead of the problem.
As a person living with diabetes, you already know that your daily diet greatly affects your BGL and overall health, but did you know your diet can also affect your oral health? According to a 2016 Journal of Nutrition study, those in the study who consumed more than 23 grams of fiber a day were less likely to develop gum disease than those who ate 12 grams or less. Don’t worry. You won’t be stuck eating bland whole wheat everything! Air-popped popcorn (minus the salt and movie theatre butter) and berries like raspberries and blueberries are great sources of fiber and definitely taste better than cardboard. We recommend consulting with your doctor and dentist to develop a diet that is beneficial to both your overall and oral health in addition to following the oral hygiene recommendations mentioned in today’s post.
Now that you know the risks and what you can do about it, it’s time to take action. Start by practicing the dental hygiene habits mentioned above, and if it’s been awhile since your last dental checkup, by all means, get thee to the dentistry!
The associates at Renew Dental care about your oral and overall health. If you are living with diabetes and need a dental checkup, contact us to schedule an appointment today.