You have a family history of diabetes, and even though you eat right and exercise, genetics caught up with you – you just got diagnosed with this blood sugar disorder. You know this condition affects everything in your body, including your teeth. So you think, ‘What dentist near me understands the connection between diabetes and my smile?’ Luckily for you, the team at Elite Dentistry focuses on comprehensive dental care and has the experience you need when it comes to your oral and overall health. In this post, learn more about the link between diabetes and your teeth and how you can improve your overall well-being.
How Does Diabetes Impact My Smile?
As a highly-credentialed professional, Dr. Caitlin Mercke knows that diabetes impacts your oral health. She explains the connection with the following details:
- Research shows an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes.
- Oral infections are harder to treat in patients with diabetes, due to compromised healing ability.
- Oral thrush, a painful fungal infection in the mouth, often affects patients with diabetes.
- Dry mouth is a common symptom of diabetes that can leave your teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
- Tooth loss is more prevalent in patients with diabetes, due to the increased rates of periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
How Can I Protect My Smile If I Have Diabetes?
Dr. Mercke recommends the following dental health strategies for patients with diabetes:
- 2x2x2 – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day – and floss while you’re at it. Be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional exams and cleanings, since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your smile.
- Eat Healthy – Limit sugar to keep your blood glucose stable and prevent tooth decay. Cut out sodas and fruit juices and switch to water, and enjoy leafy greens and dairy products that are loaded with calcium – say cheese, since this treat can help prevent cavities and has a low impact on your glycemic index.
- Don’t Smoke – Using tobacco in any of its forms not only increases your risk of oral cancer exponentially, it leads to gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. Do your entire body a favor and quit today.
- Enjoy Gum – Xylitol is a great natural sweetener that helps reduce enamel problems, and chewing gum with this ingredient can keep your mouth hydrated. And, increase your oral hydration with water to keep your mouth happy.
- See Your Dentist – If you have diabetes, you should be extra vigilant about preventive dentistry like regular checkups and cleanings from Dr. Mercke. Be sure to see us at least twice a year, and let us know if you have diabetes, so we can treat you with extra special care during your appointment.
Now that you know how diabetes can affect your smile, schedule your appointment with Elite Dentistry to keep your smile healthy and bright!