Monday, November 25th, 2019
Do you or someone you know have diabetes? 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes and approximately 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Because diabetes lowers the body’s resistance to infection, diabetes patients are at a higher risk for developing oral infections, severe gum disease and tooth loss.
As a diabetic patient, good oral health is essential. Some of the ways a patient living with diabetes can help reduce their risk of developing oral infections or severe gum disease are the following:
High blood glucose levels increase the risk of fungal infections and severe gum disease. Try to maintain a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine.
This includes daily brushing and flossing. If you wear dentures, be sure and remove and clean them daily. Also, leave them out at night to allow the mouth tissues to breathe.
Smoking increases the risk of developing periodontal disease (bone loss) and fungal infections.
By visiting the dentist at least every 6 months (sometimes more frequently with diabetes), tartar (hardened plaque) can be removed, preventing the entrapment of plaque and food particles and decreasing the risk of developing gum disease. There is some evidence that treating periodontal disease may help with blood sugar control and slow the progression of the disease.
We can also help diabetic patients manage symptoms such as dry mouth.
Fungal infections can be treated by your dentist. These infections often affect the tongue and cause burning pain and difficulty swallowing.