Did you know that diabetics are more susceptible to developing cavities and advanced gum disease?
That’s why it’s so important to find a dentist who has experience in treating patients with diabetes.
Today, I’m going to describe one of the main threats to oral health that diabetics face. But I don’t want you to be alarmed - I’ll also provide several useful dental care tips that you can use today in order to manage that threat.
Diabetes And Gum Disease
Plaque is a biofilm that forms every day on your teeth. Ideally, you’re removing it by brushing and flossing daily. But, if you’re not doing a proper job, the plaque will harden into tartar or calculus, leaving your gums exposed to infection. That infection starts as gingivitis. If you don’t find a dentist to have it treated, the infection will spread. Eventually, it will destroy the tissue and bone around your teeth.
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels will influence the infection’s advance. High levels can cause the bacteria to spread more quickly. Making the problem worse, erratic blood sugar levels can prevent the damaged tissue around your teeth from healing properly.
By the time it reaches an advanced stage, gum disease can begin impacting your overall health. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle. As a diabetic, your body cannot resist the infection properly. In time, the infection’s spread makes it more difficult for your body to maintain a proper blood sugar level. In effect, the infection causes it to rise.
Five Steps For Diabetics To Ensure A Long-Lasting, Healthy Smile
First, find a dentist in Chicago or in your area that understands the unique risks that diabetes poses to dental health. Dentists that specialize in diabetic dentistry are better able to treat and advise diabetic patients than others.
Second, commit to managing your blood sugar levels. Because your oral health is especially vulnerable, you’ll need to be proactive in controlling your blood sugar.
Third, brush your teeth twice daily at a minimum. If possible, brush immediately after eating a meal or snack. But, take care not to scrub your gums too harshly; doing so can cause unnecessary irritation.
Fourth, floss! You may think it’s inconvenient, and you’ve probably heard it more times than you can count, but flossing is one of the most important preventative step in warding off gum disease! It helps remove the food particles that allow bacteria to settle in the gum line. You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes every day to floss.
Fifth, visit your dentist every six months or more often if needed. If you haven’t done so, find a dentist in Chicago and make an appointment. Last, if you smoke, quit. Smoking increases diabetes-related problems. Chances are, you’ve heard the same advice from your doctor.
You Hold They Key To A Healthy Life
Being a diabetic means that you’re more vulnerable to developing gum disease. Fortunately, you can directly control whether it becomes a problem. Find a dentist in Chicago with experience in treating patients with diabetes. Then, follow the dental care tips I’ve provide above. Having diabetes does not mean you need to suffer the effects of advanced gum disease!
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– Dr. Siegel