How Poor Oral Hygiene Complicates Your Diabetes

When you were diagnosed with diabetes, your life changed forever. Your diet changed drastically, and you started with regular insulin, pills, or both to manage your blood sugar. It’s taken time, but you eventually learned how to live healthily despite the disease. 

But one little-known impact of diabetes is poor oral health. Your teeth and gums are extremely important to you, so you have to make sure your diabetes doesn’t ruin either. But before you can do that successfully, it’s important to understand just how diabetes affects your dental health.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Diabetes And Oral Health

You already know how diabetes can lead to problems with your eyes, feet, kidneys, and even your mood. But did you know uncontrolled diabetes can lead to dental problems

The National Institute of Health explains these complications include:

1. An increased risk of gum disease since your body cannot fight infections as well.

2. Pain when chewing.

3. Loose teeth.

4. Dry mouth (which leads to a higher risk of both gum disease and cavities).

5. Slow healing or gums that easily bleed.

This is yet another reason why you need to keep your blood sugars under control. Without regular exercise, a low-carb, protein-rich diet, and prescriptions, your diabetes can lead to a ruined smile.

Healthy Dental Habits

Then what can you do to help protect your teeth and gums from diabetes? MouthHealthy.org lists several things you can do:

1. If you smoke, you have yet another reason to give up. Smoking hinders your immune system, leading to gum disease and infected teeth.

2. People with dentures need to take them out every night so the gums have time to rest and heal overnight.

3. Although you have probably heard this too many times already, watch what you eat. A low-carb diet can help you fight cavities as well as high blood sugar.

4. Stay hydrated so you can fight dry mouth and help wash away excess glucose.

Then what can you do to help protect your teeth and gums from diabetes? MouthHealthy.org lists several things you can do:

1. Make sure you brush twice each day and floss every night after dinner.

2. Look for a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. Soft bristles won’t damage enamel, while a smaller head lets you reach your back teeth more easily.

3. Rinse with a mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association.

Dental Implants Can Help

Despite your best efforts, you can still wind up with damaged or missing teeth. Thankfully, there is a modern dental procedure that can help: Get a dental implant. This is when you get a replacement tooth put in place of a tooth that needs to come out.

Dental implants have three parts:

1. The replacement tooth made to fit your smile in particular.

2. An artificial root that mimics the root of your natural teeth.

3. An abutment that connects the two.

A dental implant looks and feels natural, so it will be very hard to know you even have one.

Because diabetes makes it harder to heal, you might think that someone with diabetes cannot get a dental implant. However, studies show that although diabetic patients have a lower success rate, there is a very reasonable cumulative success rate of 85% after 6.5 years.

Protect Your Smile From Diabetes

There are plenty of reasons to keep your diabetes under control, but your smile is another reason. Work on lowering your blood sugar, and take regular care of your teeth. If there is a problem, talk to your dentist about getting a dental implant. Although you cannot eat everything you want, you deserve a healthy smile to eat what you should.

One Comments

  • Ronpeter 20 / 03 / 2018 Reply

    What about the connection between diabetes and orthodontic problems. If someone has crooked teeth and he is unable to brush and floss his teeth properly, will it lead to diabetes ?

    Braces in Colorado Springs

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