Good oral hygiene is a must for individuals with diabetes mellitus. Whether you are a type 1 diabetic, type 2, or a juvenile diabetic, it is crucial to have good oral hygiene, because bacteria and yeast tend to grow faster in the mouths of diabetics. Bacteria grow faster in diabetics because bacteria thrive in environments with plenty of food available to them. Elevated glucose levels in the diabetic provide just the environment they need to survive and flourish. People with diabetes are more prone to periodontal disease than people who are not diabetic.
If you have diabetes mellitus, it is important that you take special care of your teeth, gums, and oral mucosa. Microorganisms grow all over the teeth, gums, tongue and other areas of the oral cavity. As with periodontal disease, the germs tend to stick to your teeth and die there. The skeletons of the germs is what you see as plaque, which sets up a pathway for living germs to get in between the teeth and the gums and work their way down to the bones of the jaw. As a result, you may suffer bone loss in and around the sockets of the jaw bone. The microorganisms feed on the gums at the base of your teeth. As the tissue erodes, your teeth look like they have become longer, but in truth the base of your teeth that should be under the gum line are exposed, which leads to bone loss. When you suffer bone loss, your teeth will loosen up, and they can form painful abscesses. It is possible to lose your teeth if enough bone tissue is lost in the jaw.
Below are some tips to help preserve your dental health:
Smoking: Periodontal disease is very prevalent in diabetics who smoke. The incidence of periodontitis is highest among diabetic smokers in their mid-forties and older. If you stop smoking, you may reduce your risk of developing periodontitis.
Healthy Diet: Maintaining a healthy diabetic diet is one way to help keep your blood sugar within normal limits. However, you may not be able to keep your blood sugar level within normal limits by diet alone. A diet in conjunction with other diabetes treatment regimens will help to control your blood glucose level.
Medication: Oral diabetes medications, and/or insulin injections may be prescribed by your doctor for your diabetes treatment. Many insulin dependent diabetics are using the insulin pump, which delivers scheduled doses of insulin painlessly through a delivery system, which delivers short acting insulin more efficiently than individual injections. The better the delivery of diabetic medications the more stable your blood sugars will be, which in turn will help to keep your mouth healthy.
Flossing: Flossing is part of good oral care, and it is necessary for everyone to floss. However, it is especially important for diabetics to floss at least once every day, but preferably after every meal. Flossing helps to remove the food particles that get stuck between the teeth and harbor microorganisms.
Brushing: Brushing your teeth after each meal, and every snack is essential for good oral health. Diabetics are prone to infection, due to the elevated blood glucose levels. Be sure to brush gently in a circular motion with a soft toothbrush. If you use force to brush your teeth, or you use stiff bristles, there is a chance of scratching your oral mucosa, which could cause an infection.
It is important to pay close attention to your oral health to prevent periodontal disease. If you notice any redness, irritation, or soreness of the mouth, contact your dentist as soon as possible. If your dentist makes you aware of a problem with your oral health, be sure to take measures to resolve the issue right away. Maintaining your oral health, may help to keep your entire body in good health.