If you are struggling with diabetes, you are at a higher risk than the average individual for oral health problems, especially if your blood sugars are not well controlled. For this reason, Dr. Grabiak recommends you seek regular dental care and brush up on your oral hygiene habits to ensure your teeth remain healthy and avoid oral bacterial infections.
Diabetics are at higher risk for many specific oral problems. These include dry mouth, gum inflammation, poorly healing oral tissues, thrush, and a burning of the mouth or tongue. If you smoke, your risk of developing periodontal disease is even greater.
In order to protect your mouth from disease, you must work hard to control your blood sugars. When you visit the dentist, make sure you tell your dentist about your diabetes status and blood sugar levels or any recent episodes you had. If you have periodontal disease, talk to your diabetes doctor before you seek treatment, so you can coordinate care. Schedule your cleanings twice per year, or even more if your dentist recommends it.
At home, brush your teeth after every meal, and floss at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to the enamel. Remove your dentures every day, if you have them, and thoroughly clean them. If you smoke, take steps immediately to quit. By focusing more strongly on your oral care at home, and keeping up with your regular dental visits, you can help keep your teeth healthy for the long term.