At our dental offices, one of the first things we do when meeting new patients is go over a complete health history. What are we looking for? Things like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Why? Because they can sometimes cause specific symptoms that affect not just your overall health, but your oral health too. Diabetes, in particular, can lead to an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Here are some frequently asked questions we get about diabetes and how it affects our oral health.
“What Should I Share With My Dentist About My Diabetes?”
We love getting to know our patients in order to better understand how we can help their smiles be healthy and last a lifetime.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to share these things:
- Any changes in your prescriptions or health
- Your results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose)
- Your need for antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes
“How Does My Blood Sugar Affect My Oral Health?”
We understand that maintaining your blood glucose levels isn’t always easy. But did you know that keeping these numbers stable also helps oral health too? It helps reduce your risk of losing teeth, gum disease, and other problems. Your dentist knows that the presence of gum disease may also play a role in the rise of blood sugar, making diabetes even more difficult to regulate.
“Is Brushing and Flossing Different With Diabetes?”
Keeping up with your regular brushing and flossing routine at home isn’t any different, whether or not you’re living with diabetes. It’s always important to brush twice daily and floss once — no matter what illness you may or may not have. Try using a fluoride toothpaste for added decay defense, and brushing in the morning and at night. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles that work best to clean teeth with soft circular motions.
“What About Diabetes and My Diet?”
Since patients living with diabetes are restricted from consuming sugary foods, this is extremely helpful for teeth too. Always be sure to work with your doctor to find the right kind of dietary plan to suit your needs. We always recommend making plenty of veggies, fruits, and whole grains a part of your diet.
We are always available to answer any questions you may have about diabetes and how it can affect oral health. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you ever notice any changes in your mouth or teeth.