Teeth and Gum Care for Diabetics

We all want to be healthy and most try to do what needs to be done in order to achieve maximum health. Diabetics seem to face more obstacles when it comes to controlling their health due to having to monitor blood glucose levels.

Unfortunately it is those glucose levels that affect the status of their health so much. The disease diabetes can even have an impact on your gums and teeth. Diabetics can take action to have healthy teeth and gums.

High blood glucose aids germs, called bacteria to grow, even on your teeth and gums. Gums can become red, sore, and swollen and can bleed when bacteria has gathered on the gums. High blood glucose can cause tooth and gum problems for the individual with diabetes. This can even lead to tooth loss.

It Is Important For your Health

Smoking can aggravate gum disease, so if you are diabetic and especially if you are over 45 years of age it is a good idea to quit smoking as smoking increases your risk for gum disease.

Signs of gum disease are red, sore, bleeding and swollen gums. Periodonitis is an infection of your gums and also the bone that holds the teeth in place. If the infection worsens without treatment it can even cause the teeth to pull away from your gums, which can lead to tooth loss.

Signs of damage to your teeth or gums:

    • Your gums are red, sore or swollen

    • Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or floss

    • Your gums look like they are pulling away from your teeth when you look in the mirror so that your teeth look longer

    • You have sensitive teeth

    • You have loose teeth

    • You or someone you know notices that you have bad breath

    • Your “bite” feels different

    • If you have dentures or false teeth they start to feel different in your mouth and do not fit well

How can diabetics care for their teeth and gums?

Pretty much the same as everyone has been taught to care for their teeth and gums with the exception that if they experience teeth or gum problems they should remember to tell their dentist that they are diabetic.

They should also closely monitor their blood glucose levels on a daily basis and record them so their doctor can interpret the readings.

    They should use dental floss daily.

    They should brush teeth after each meal or snack.

    If you wear false teeth keep them clean

    See a dentist right away if any problems or signs of teeth or gum problems are discovered

    See a dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleaning and dental checkups

    Stop smoking if you smoke