PEOPLE WITH DIABETES are mindful of their bodies’ feedback. Effective diabetes management requires frequent blood sugar checks, careful dietary planning, and close monitoring of other symptoms.
But with all the things diabetics have to consider, they often miss warning signs from another crucial area—the mouth.
Why are oral care and diabetes so intertwined? Recent studies have revealed more on the relationship between gum disease and diabetic symptoms.
It’s About Bacteria
People with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the body and cause infection. When harmful bacteria are allowed to build up in the mouth, gums become swollen and sensitive. In addition to weakening the structures holding teeth in place, inflamed, bleeding gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Once inside, these bacteria can aggravate diabetic complications and make it harder to manage blood sugar.
Diabetes makes gums more susceptible to infection—and infected gums, in turn, worsen diabetic conditions. It’s a vicious cycle!
3 Keys To Managing Oral Health And Diabetes
- Stay in touch with your doctor AND with us. Follow your doctor’s diabetes management plan, and relay any changes in your condition. Make sure your doctor has our contact information and keeps us informed as appropriate. Keep your regular dental checkup appointments.
- Control your blood glucose level. Monitor your blood sugar level and use medications as recommended. The better you manage your blood sugar, the less likely you will be to develop gum infections.
- Establish good oral care habits. Brush twice a day, gently massaging and cleaning gums. Floss at least once daily. If you smoke, quit. Please talk with us if you have any questions about brushing or flossing techniques!
Let Us Help You Manage Diabetes
We understand that living with diabetes presents a host of extra things to think about every day. We want to ease that burden by providing personalized care to our diabetic patients. If you know someone with diabetes, share this information with them!
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of your health-conscious lifestyle.
We treasure our relationship with you as a patient and a friend!
Top image by Flickr user Douglas Palmer used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.