Oral Health & Diabetes

Categories: Diabetes Center

Did you know that there are more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people on Earth? You may be at risk for developing gum disease if germs settle into your gums and turn to plaque. If you have diabetes, it may weaken your mouth’s germ-fighting ability. High blood sugar can help manifest gum disease and in turn make your diabetes harder to control.

The good news is controlling blood glucose levels, taking good care of your teeth and gums, and routine checkups can help prevent gum disease. It is recommended that you practice the following to maintain a clean and healthy mouth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Floss once a day and use alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning (Typically, every six months)Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth
  • Quit smoking (Smoking increases your risk of gum disease)

If you think you may have gum disease, make an appointment with your dentist and be sure to look out for the following:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Even if your gums don’t hurt, get them checked
  • Bad breath
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures or bridges
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other

Remember, keeping your diabetes in control may give you freedom from other complications that can come along with it.

Additional suggestions from Dr. Nadeau:

  • Use a "Waterpik" type irrigator daily especially if you don' take the time to floss
  • Gentle tongue scape every morning
  • Consider a "sonic" toothbrush

"Your breath will love you for it and your blood glucose may improve!" - Dr. Nadeau