If you’re living with diabetes, regular teeth cleaning is especially important, according to the staff at Princeview Dental Group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. says that people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease.
In fact, according to the CDC, approximately one-third of patients with diabetes have severe gum disease! Diabetes patients have a high glucose level, which means that their bodies cannot heal from oral infections. And if they have uncontrolled diabetes, teeth cleaning and treating the infection is much more difficult.
Surprisingly, there is little awareness about the link between gum disease and diabetes. To increase knowledge, Princeview Dental Group has the following oral health care tips for patients living with diabetes:
- A regular teeth cleaning, both at home and at the dentist every six months, is a great way to maintain a healthy mouth, but it is even more important if you suffer from diabetes. Brushing twice a day, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, and flossing are especially important.
- Start adding healthy foods to your diet. Even making simple substitutions to meals you normally enjoy can greatly increase the nutritional value.
- If you’re at risk for diabetes—you’re over 45, overweight, don’t exercise, or have high blood pressure—take extra special care with your teeth cleaning and visit your doctor and dentist for regular checkups.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, talk with your dentist, doctor, and a diabetes educator about how to best manage your diabetes. We recommend that our patients with diabetes follow a regular teeth cleaning regimen.
Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, stay organized and keep a journal with your diet, exercise, and health goals together in one place, along with your teeth cleaning and oral care regimen. Or if you prefer to take the high-tech route, many free e-mail services, such as Hotmail and Gmail, offer organizers as part of their service. Most smartphones and tablet computers also come with apps to help keep you organized as well, with many being specifically for diabetes patients!
Unfortunately, having gum disease can make treating diabetes much more difficult since it is hard to control blood sugar levels. If you suffer from severe gum disease, this in turn can lead to increased blood sugar, which increases your chances of developing risks related to diabetes.
That’s why Princeview Dental Group recommends that our patients living with diabetes follow a regular teeth cleaning regimen, both at our offices and at home, as well as follow the tips given above. If you follow these simple rules, you will maintain good oral health.
“Diabetes and Periodontal Disease,” American Academy of Periodontology web site, http://www.perio.org/consumer/diabetes.htm.
“Living With Diabetes? Watch Your Mouth!” San Diego Scoop web site, November 4, 2013; http://scoopsandiego.com/online_features/family_living/living-with-diabetes-watch-your-mouth/article_ea31b8b7-522f-5518-b12c-2e05ba9546d3.html.