It may seem strange to hear your dentist in Wicker Park talk about a disease that doesn’t seem to affect your oral health. But the truth is, many diseases, including diabetes, can negatively affect your teeth. In fact, diabetes can increase the likelihood of gum disease, dry mouth, and other oral health problems. For this World Diabetes Day (November 14), we want to do our part to raise awareness of the importance of dental care for those with diabetes by sharing three ways to reduce the risk of oral health complications related to diabetes.
Nearly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, and of those, an estimated 8.1 million aren’t even diagnosed. But those aren’t the only numbers we’re concerned about. As any diabetic knows, checking blood glucose levels often is an important part of making sure their diabetes is under control. But keeping those numbers stable can also help reduce the risk of oral health complications related to diabetes. If blood glucose is elevated, there is an increased risk of losing teeth or developing gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection in the gum tissue and, like other infections, can also cause blood sugar to rise and make diabetes difficult to control.
Besides checking blood sugar levels regularly, diabetics are used to being careful about what they eat. This is certainly a habit your dentist in Wicker Park can get behind! Of course, limiting sugary snacks or sweets is always a recommendation, but it’s also important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to not only help maintain blood sugar but also for your overall and oral health. Choose raw veggies or fresh fruits and whole grains whenever possible. Your medical doctor can also help develop a meal plan that will work for you and your body.
We would be missing a key detail about maintaining good oral health if we didn’t talk about the importance of oral hygiene, whether you’re diabetic or not. A healthy mouth starts with a good oral hygiene routine at home. This means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from teeth, under the gums, and the tongue. But even the most dedicated at-home oral hygiene routine will only go so far. Seeing your dentist in Wicker Park at least twice a year for professional cleanings is also key to a healthy mouth. These appointments are important for everyone, but especially for those with diabetes.
Our dental office in Wicker Park believes in doing everything we can to keep our patients healthy, including talking about and raising awareness of diseases that originate in other parts of the body. After all, oral health can be negatively affected by many of these diseases.
Want to do your part to raise awareness for diabetes this November? Wear blue on November 14, schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you have diabetes, and, as always, remember to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly.