If you are living with Diabetes, you are predisposed to a number of dental health problems. For this reason, practicing good daily oral hygiene and getting regular care from a dentist is vitally important.
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. There are three different types of Diabetes including the following:
- Type I Diabetes
- Type II Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
There are currently 26 million people in the United States who are living with some type of Diabetes. Ninety to ninety-five percent of these cases of Diabetes are Diabetes Type II. So what is the link between Diabetes and your dental health? Diabetes impairs your ability to fight bacteria in your mouth. Having high blood sugar encourages harmful bacteria to grow and this harmful bacteria can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums and tissues supporting your teeth. If it is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. High sugar levels in the blood can also lead to dry mouth and this condition also puts you at a higher risk for developing gum disease.
If you have Diabetes, the best thing you can do to protect your dental health is to control your blood sugar. This can be achieved by checking your blood sugar levels often, taking any medications prescribed to you by your doctor, eating a diet that is recommended by your doctor and exercising regularly. The second thing you can do to protect your longterm dental health is to visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams. During this time, a dental hygienist can use special tools and techniques to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Your dental examination will also give your dentist the opportunity to look for any signs of periodontal disease and if necessary, to provide treatment for this serious condition. The third thing you can do is practice good daily oral hygiene at home including thoroughly brushing your teeth at least twice a day and thoroughly flossing your teeth at least once a day.
If you would like to get more information regarding Diabetes and your dental health, talk to your dentist. If you have Diabetes and have not been to a dentist in more than six months, schedule your appointment today!
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