Diabetes and Oral Care
When you live with diabetes, your blood glucose levels may cause a variety of symptoms throughout the body, including in your mouth. Specifically, you may not produce as much saliva, which, consequently, makes you more prone to cavities. Additionally, less than optimal blood glucose levels put you at a higher risk for gum disease and infections inside of your mouth. When not addressed, these issues can lead to tooth loss.
Your Partner in Oral Care
Your dentist can help you protect your mouth from the complications associated with diabetes. Schedule regular visits for checkups, as well as cleanings, which can help reduce your hemoglobin A1c (A1C). Your dentist can also help manage gum disease if it has already developed.
Tips to Take Care of Oral Health
In addition to working with your dentist, you can care for your oral health by adhering to good oral hygiene practices:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Clean dentures once every day.
- Floss daily.
- If you smoke, take steps to quit.
Also, manage your diabetes by taking medications as directed by your diabetes care provider, exercising regularly and eating healthy nutritious foods. When your blood glucose is well managed, you are less likely to experience dry mouth and are better positioned to fight bacterial and fungal infections in the mouth.
For more information about programs and services available at UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, call 859-323-BBDC (2232). Select option 1 for the adult clinic; option 2 for the pediatric clinic; or option 3 for diabetes education services.