Research has shown that the relationship between diabetes and gum disease goes both ways. Diabetes increases your risk of getting periodontal disease. And gum disease, in return, makes it harder to control blood sugar in people suffering from diabetes.
The gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) are bacterial infections in the gums that can eventually reach the fibers and bone supporting the teeth . If not treated, there can be hypermobility, or even an eventual loss of teeth.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease, probably because they are more likely to develop infections and take longer to heal. People who do not control their diabetes may even be affected by these diseases, and it becomes more difficult to control the damage.
It is therefore, very important to check the status of your gums on a regular basis, and treat periodontal disease if you are diabetic. Dentists and periodontists also recommend a dental cleaning every three months rather than six months (which is routine for non-diabetics), to remove plaque and calculus that interfere with healthy gums.
Dental Hygiene for Diabetics
Because diabetes makes the teeth and gums more susceptible to certain diseases, it is important to give special attention to dental hygiene. Taking care of your oral health can prevent or delay many complications of diabetes.
Here is the recommended dental hygiene routine for people with diabetes:
1. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal. Dental flossing is a must to complete the brushing process as it removes plaque and food particles that may remain between the teeth and surrounding gums. Since lesser saliva is found in the mouth, it contributes to inadequate natural cleaning, which is the reason this meticulous oral hygiene is so important.
2. Periodontal disease can reach an advanced level painlessly and without the gums starting to bleed. Regular visits to the dentist, preferably every three months, are therefore recommended to check for signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, and also dental caries.
3. If the gums bleed abnormally when brushing teeth, it is important to consult your dentist quickly. Moreover, you must notify the dentist of any major changes in the mouth, like bad taste, lack of saliva, or the presence of white patches on the tongue.
4. It is important, during a visit to the dentist, to update your medical history, and to notify the state of your diabetes. Also if you suffer from periodontal disease, it is important to talk to your doctor about your gum disease as well.
5. With a few exceptions, people with diabetes can receive dental treatment like anyone else. Dentists recommend the appointments are made in the morning hours. You must have had your meals so that your insulin level is normal.
6. If surgery or tooth extraction is necessary, there could be a longer recovery period and a good follow-up after surgery. Any surgeries should be performed only if the level of blood sugar is well controlled. Otherwise, treatment should be delayed unless there is an infection or abscess, which needs to be treated immediately.
7. If you have diabetes, the most important is to monitor your diet and weight control by doing regular physical activity. You must also monitor your dental and oral condition, which with the help of the dentist, will keep a good dental health for a long time.