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How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

December 24, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When there is too much sugar in the bloodstream of a person with diabetes, it causes a variety of potential health problems, including dental issues. The most common problems from diabetes include gingivitis, periodontitis, thrush, dry mouth and burning mouth. Each dental health issue is accompanied by symptoms like swollen gums, pain in the mouth, bad breath that doesn’t go away, sore white or red patches on the gums, tongue or cheek and others.

 

To prevent serious dental health complications from diabetes, it is important to control blood sugar levels and adhere to the following recommended practices:

  • Eat healthy:  Keeping your blood glucose level at a target range requires eating healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, and watching portions. Foods that may benefit your dental health include cheese, milk, leafy greens, almonds, and eggs. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water! Fluorinated water is your most tooth-friendly beverage.

  • Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day: Brushing the right way with fluoride toothpaste can dramatically reduce any progression of symptoms from gingivitis. For best brushing, the American Dental Association recommends selecting a soft-bristled brush that is comfortable to hold for necessary brushing. If it’s possible to brush three times a day, that is also recommended. Brushing should last at least two minutes.

  • Get regular dental check-ups and cleanings:  With regular check-ups, your dentist can help you manage any diabetes related oral health concerns. For example, patients who experience thrush (a growth of fungus in the mouth) or xerostomia (dry mouth) may be provided medicine by their dentist. Deep dental cleanings are typically provided to patients who have periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease.

Elevated glucose levels increase plaque growth in the mouth, which causes tooth decay and cavities. Though, with proper monitoring, a healthy daily routine and regular visits to Shane McDowell Dentistry, you can maintain a healthy, happy smile. For more information or to schedule your next appointment, please visit us at www.myfortmyersdentist.com.

 

 

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