If you are a diabetic, you may be particularly concerned about your oral health. Having diabetes can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar, which may result in higher levels of sugar in your mouth. Since sugar is one of the primary foods of oral bacteria, this can be particularly detrimental to your dental health.
Bacteria feed on the sugars in your mouth and release bacterial acid that causes gum disease and dental decay. The acid is corrosive enough to dissolve tooth enamel and inflame sensitive gums.
Additionally, since diabetes can slow the rate of wound healing, inflamed gum tissue may progress quickly toward gum disease. Severe cases of gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss. Thus, it is important for you to take meticulous care of your teeth and gums. Here are a few things you can do to protect your oral health if you have diabetes:
Monitor your blood sugar regularly.
By monitoring your blood sugar regularly, you will be able to identify periods in which your blood sugar is higher than normal and respond by taking appropriate medication. Keeping your blood sugar within a normal range helps eliminate extra sugar within the oral cavity.
To keep your blood sugar stable, your physician may suggest a diet that is low in simple carbohydrates. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe a suitable exercise program.
Exercise has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. In fact, it can even improve insulin sensitivity.
Also, it is important to take your medication as prescribed. Diabetic medicines, such as metformin and insulin, help your blood sugar to stabilize.
If you are considering natural supplements, such as cinnamon, to help maintain lower levels of blood sugar, be sure to discuss the addition of these substances to your diet with your physician before you start taking them. When coupled with traditional medication, natural remedies may end up lowering your blood sugar too much. Consequently, if your doctor approves the addition of natural products as a part of your blood sugar maintenance plan, he or she may choose to adjust the dose of your current medication.
Oral irrigators aim a concentrated stream of water along your gum line. Since your gums may be inflamed from exposure to bacterial acids associated with bacterial overgrowth from high levels of sugar in your mouth, it can be important to keep the area along the gum line free of plaque.
Plaque buildup can cause oral acid levels near the gums to increase or become more concentrated. An oral irrigator helps remove the plaque and stimulate blood flow to the gums. The additional circulation can help promote gum health and healing.
For more information, contact Howley & Basara Family Dentistry PC or a similar location.