November is American Diabetes Month and we want to focus on dental care for people with diabetes. When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands!
Research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
As a diabetic, what can you do? Make a commitment to manage your diabetes and control your blood glucose level. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems. Then, take good care of your teeth and gums, including regular checkups every six months. To control thrush, a fungal infection, maintain good diabetic control, avoid smoking and, if you wear them, remove and clean dentures daily.
People with diabetes have special needs and your dentist and hygienist are equipped to meet those needs – with your help. Keep your dentist and hygienist informed of any changes in your condition and any medication you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!