Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. The symptoms include; increased hunger and thirst, as well as frequent urination. If left untreated, it can cause a lot of serious complications.
Diabetes can have a huge impact on oral health. Diabetics are more likely to have cavities, fungal infections and have a higher probability of getting gum diseases. Diabetics also tend to have a dry mouth, which can harbor bacteria causing teeth decay.
In addition, having diabetes makes it difficult for infected persons to fight off infection as well as take a longer time to recover, in the event of getting dental procedures.
Good habits keep the mouth healthy and prevent further conditions from developing. Here’s what diabetics can do to protect their oral health better.
1. Brush your teeth and floss regularly – at least twice a day or even after every meal.
2. Use antibacterial mouthwash to rinse after brushing. This will discourage the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
3. Watch for mouth sores and bleeding gums. If you develop either of these, let your doctor or dentist know right away.
4. Make sure your dentist is aware of your medical condition, history and knows all of your medication.
5. Visit the dentist regularly for cleaning. Your dentist might suggest more frequent visits than the usual twice a year. Diabetes tends to cause tartar and other buildup to develop more quickly.
6. Depending on your condition, your dentist might recommend further treatment from a periodontist – someone who treats gums specifically for any condition.
Prevention and treatment of diabetes involves exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eat fruits and vegetables that will improve both your medical condition as well as oral health. If you smoke, quitting will also be good for you.