Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but when you’re living with diabetes, it’s especially imperative that you take good care of your teeth and gums. This is because high blood sugar can affect every part of your body, and it can cause dry mouth, mouth sores, gum disease, and other infections.
Brushing and flossing three times a day will help you get control of your oral health, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
You also need to maintain your blood sugar, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and see the dentist at least every six months to make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape. Creating a routine that will help you stay on track is important, so it might be a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste with you daily.
Since some research suggests that the link between diabetes and oral health is a two-way street — meaning one might introduce the other — it’s important to think about getting control over oral health even if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes.
Here are a few tips on how to have a healthy mouth and why it’s so important.
How To Care For Your Teeth When You Have Diabetes
1. Create a routine.
Creating a routine will help you keep track of your oral health. As many of us know, it can be hard to remember to floss every day or to brush after every meal. Likewise, when you’re pressed for time it can be difficult to keep up with these tasks. Sometimes it’s necessary to get into healthy habits so you’ll automatically remember that you need to carve out time to get it done.
2. Keep your blood sugar in check.
It’s not always easy, but it’s important to try to keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be. Whether your doctor has you on insulin or has suggested you keep your levels down with a special diet, stick to his orders explicitly and use your medication only as directed.
Avoid refined sugars, such as those found in white bread, rice, and white potatoes. Instead stick with plenty of veggies and protein, found in meat, nut butters, eggs, fish and whey protein isolate. Check your blood sugar often throughout the day if you’re having trouble regulating it; your doctor may suggest trying a different medication.
3. Take care of existing issues.
If you’re currently dealing with dental issues, take care of them right away. Poor oral health can lead to cavities, periodontal disease, and loss of teeth or erosion of gums, which can, in turn, lead to heart disease. It’s all connected, and diabetes can only make things worse.
Keeping things under control requires preventative care as well as the care of existing problems, so talk to your dentist about your options, particularly if your oral health has significantly declined. It might be time to take additional measures like considering dental implants.
4. Quit smoking
Habits such as smoking can greatly affect your oral health, so taking steps to quit now could save you myriad problems down the road. Smokers are more likely to produce plaque, which leads to gum disease; because smoking pulls oxygen out of the bloodstream, the infected gums can’t heal.
Not only can it cause gum disease, it can lead to other oral issues, such as cancer. Check out this article for more information on smoking and oral health.
To Sum Up
Great oral health begins with you. Taking steps immediately to undo past damage, repair issues, and prevent new ones will make sure that your mouth stays healthy even if you’re battling a disease like diabetes.
Talk to your doctor and dentist about the best ways to care for your teeth and gums and take an active role in making it happen. Plus, making your dental health a priority can give you a brighter, healthier smile, and who doesn’t love that?
Do you have any tips to add to this list?
Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!
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