When we provide our bodies nutritious foods, are physically active, and carry out quality self-care, including proper dental hygiene, we feel like our best selves. Our lifestyle even shows right in our very smile.
Unfortunately, when we fail to take of our health, the consequences can be severe. One such health issue that many residents of the Rio Grande Valley deal with is diabetes. This is a truly serious condition that can have devastating effects on an individual’s wellbeing, including their dental health.
Poorly controlled diabetes puts you at a greater risk of dental problems. Luckily, there’s plenty that can be done to reduce your risk of developing the disease, as well as coping with it should you acquire it at some point in your life.
Let the good folks at Heroes Dental provide you the information you need to ensure your smile stays gorgeous when you are dealing with diabetes.
Visit us on Saturday, April 6th, at the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association event at the Mission Event Center from 9 AM to 2 PM.
About Diabetes & How It Can Affect Your Teeth
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. As of 2015, over 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, while another 84.1 million are suffering from prediabetic conditions.
Each year, another 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with the disease.
Although it is not curable, it can be properly treated and go into remission. Through proper care and a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise, an individual can lead a long and satisfying life.
When not properly taken care of, however, the disease can lead to a variety of health complications, such as heart, kidney, and eye disease. Oral health issues also commonly occur. In fact, individuals diagnosed with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
An infection of the gums that can begin to affect the jawbone, periodontal disease is caused by plaque. Over time, if left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth and jawbone loss. Additionally, periodontal disease can make it much more challenging for a diabetic to control their blood sugar, further increasing the risk of developing other health problems.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red and swollen gums that bleed after brushing or flossing.
- Exposed roots caused by the gums pulling away from the teeth.
- Plaque deposits visible between teeth.
- Tender or swollen gums.
- A “bad” odor from the mouth.
It is absolutely vital that a diabetic seek out dental care to protect themselves from the serious damages that periodontal disease can cause.
It’s also worth noting that periodontal disease isn’t the only cause for concern. If you suffer diabetes and fail to control it, a number of dental and gum issues can also occur, including:
- Thrush – Infection caused by fungus in the mouth.
- Dry mouth – Caused by reduced saliva production.
- Tooth Decay – Caused by high glucose levels in the saliva.
- Bleeding and sore gums.
- Frequent infections in the mouth.
These issues can arise as a result of reduced blood supply to the bones and gums, reduced production of saliva, and the body’s limited capacity to fight off infections.
While those with uncontrolled diabetes may be susceptible to dental complications, the relationship does go in the opposite direction as well. Research shows that adequate dental health can help to alleviate oral side effects caused by diabetes. When you maintain a proper oral hygiene routine and get your regular dental check-ups, you work towards improved overall health.
How Heroes Dental Can Help You Combat the Effects of Diabetes
Research shows that following a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, along with flossing and rinsing regularly in combination with regular deep oral cleanings, can work to lower oral health issues caused by diabetes.
Consider following these five habits to reduce oral health complications caused by diabetes:
1. Watch what you eat to regulate blood sugar levels.
Limit your consumption of sugary and starchy foods. Eat a well-balanced diet with meals that have the necessary vitamins and minerals. If possible, work out on a daily basis to also help regulate blood glucose. Always take medication as prescribed by your physician as well.
2. Quit smoking or using tobacco products.
Smoking can impact your health in general but can be especially negative if you are already dealing with a health issue such as diabetes. Tobacco can impact blood sugar levels and other facets of your health that can affect your diabetes.
3. Clean your dentures.
If you have dentures, make sure to clean them properly every day, as food particles or bacteria can get lodged in them. Clean dentures can help to reduce the risk of developing dry mouth and infections.
4. Maintain a solid oral hygiene routine.
As always, brush morning and night with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss on a daily basis and rinse with mouthwash. Staying hydrated can also help to reduce bacteria by assisting in the production of healthy saliva.
5. Visit your dentist for regular checkups.
You should always pair good oral hygiene habits with regular visits to the dentist. At Heroes Dental, our Rio Grande Valley dentists can assist in resolving any issues or catch complications at the onset to prevent further damage. If you have diabetes, make sure to let your dentist know.
It is in your best interest to take proper care of your teeth to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile, and live an overall healthier life. Our family-friendly team of dentists at Heroes Dental are ready to begin helping you today.
Make sure to stop by and pay us a visit on Saturday, April 6th, at the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association event at the Mission Event Center. We’ll be there from 9 AM to 2 PM.