Diabetes and Gum Disease
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are much more susceptible to gum disease. The reason could be that diabetes reduces the body's ability to fight off the bacteria that attack gum tissue and cause infection. In addition, diabetics are more likely to get oral yeast infections and other health problems that affect the mouth.
How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?
Not only are people with diabetes more likely to suffer from gum disease than the general population, but they are also put at greater risk if they do develop serious gum disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, gum disease can affect blood glucose levels and make it more difficult to control the effects of diabetes. This risk of serious health consequences means that it is extremely important for diabetics to look after their oral health.
What Can Dry Mouth Cause?
Many people with diabetes suffer from dry mouth, which accounts for many of the oral health problems that they struggle with. A lack of normal saliva production can be very dangerous for your oral health because it encourages the growth of harmful bacteria. In addition, when the delicate tissues in the mouth become dry, they can become sore and prone to developing ulcers.
What Can I Do About Dry Mouth?
There are many solutions to the problem of dry mouth, including oral sprays and moisturizing gel. These products aim to reduce oral dryness and moisturize the tissues in the mouth, so that they are more comfortable and better protected.
Some dry mouth gels also help to maintain the pH balance in your mouth so that it is a less hospitable environment for harmful bacteria. If you suffer from dry mouth as a result of diabetes, ask your doctor or dentist whether they would recommend using a gel or spray to address the symptoms of dry mouth every day. You can also help yourself by sipping water frequently throughout the day and chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate the saliva glands.
Oral Hygiene For Diabetics
Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but especially so for diabetics. You need to make sure you brush and floss thoroughly every morning and night to reduce oral bacteria which can cause infection and decay. Sticking to a tooth-healthy diet that is low in sugar can also help.
In addition, your dentist might recommend using anti-gingivitis toothpaste to reduce your risk of gum disease. These toothpastes contain an active ingredient called triclosan, which kills oral bacteria. Studies have shown that toothpastes that contain triclosan reduce the build-up of plaque and have a significant anti-gingivitis effect.
Managing Oral Health With Diabetes
When you have diabetes, it is very important to have regular check-ups with your dentist. Make sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes so that he or she can give you advice that is tailored specifically to your condition. Follow the advice of your dentist carefully and keep up a good oral hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and flossing to reduce your risk of oral health problems.
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