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Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a disease that is increasingly common in the United States. Diabetes affects millions of people in many different ways. It is important to take extra care of your health if you have diabetes, and your dentist should be an important part of a care team. Here is how we can help you!

Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in 30,000 people every year and around 15% of these are kids. If you have type 1 diabetes you are 5 times more likely to have gum disease. Which is one of the reasons that visiting the dentist regularly is important since if you go long stretches of time without visiting the dentist, you are more likely to develop gum disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 10% of the population of the United States. Similar to type 1 diabetes, gingivitis and periodontitis are more common for people who have type 2. Gum disease is caused by bacteria building up in pockets along the gum and causes them to become swollen, red, and even bleed. Diabetes decreases your body’s ability to fight bacteria, which means that your mouth won’t be able to fight bacteria as well.

How to prevent gum disease if you have diabetes

1. Just like anyone one else, you need to brush your teeth twice per day. 2 minutes is the recommended length of time for brushing your teeth and you should tilt the brush toward your gum line. Don’t forget to floss either, since this will reach areas that brushing can’t.
2. Use a mouth was once per day, which can help kill bacteria.
3. Chew sugar-free gum after meals if you aren’t able to brush. Gum will increase the saliva production in your mouth which flushes and cleans the bacteria away from your teeth.
4. Visit your dentist twice per year! We probably say this in every blog, but it is so important, and even more so if you have diabetes. Most serious dental issues arise because people aren’t visiting the dentist regularly.
5. Talk to your dentist about any medications you are taking since these could change the treatment options. Also, make sure that you take all medications that you are prescribed.
6. If you have any concerns about your oral health, then just talk to your dentist. Our dentists will be able to answer questions and give you advice on the best way to take care of your teeth.

Taking the steps to care for your health is important and you shouldn’t neglect it. Your personal health is the most valuable thing you have!