Take Charge of Your Diabetes and Oral Health

Poor control of blood sugar can place people living with diabetes at a higher risk of dental disease. With increasing age, people with diabetes can be more prone to infections. Many dentists recommend their diabetic patients to practice proper daily dental care to prevent dental disease.

Managing your daily dental care can help prevent dental infections that are linked to diabetes. Take the steps below to keep your mouth healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember to brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Brushing too hard can irritate your gums. Try brushing after each meal and snack.
  • Floss daily. This helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gumline. A major cause of gum disease.
  • Visit your dental provider twice a year for routine dental exams. Early detection is key to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to tell the dentist that you have diabetes and let him/her know any medications you take. It is important for your dental provider to be aware of them. Your dentist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings to help control blood sugar levels and prevent gum disease.
  • Clean your dentures daily. If you have dentures, daily cleaning helps remove food particles and bacteria. Click here for more information on denture care from the American Dental Association.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan. Eating the right foods as part of a healthy eating plan can help lower and maintain good glucose levels. Healthy food can help you have strong teeth and healthy gums.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can increase gum disease and can also make it slower for gums to heal. Talk to your dentist or doctor for ways to quit.