The Importance Of Oral Health For Those With Diabetes by Donna Erickson

The Importance of Oral Health for Those With Diabetes


We all know that first impressions matter, so a healthy smile can go a long way in giving you a confidence boost when you need it most. More importantly, a healthy smile can also inform you about underlying conditions, such as diabetes, which puts some at a higher risk of periodontal disease. Practising daily oral hygiene is crucial when it comes to your overall well-being, as it can prevent a host of other conditions. Below, Diabetic Support & Management offers ways to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape and cultivate healthy dental hygiene.


Risks and Prevention


Nearly all adults suffer from cavities that put them at risk for tooth decay, according to the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, an unhealthy diet, drugs, alcohol, tobacco use, and poor oral hygiene all contribute to infections. Even if one doesn’t show the signs yet, these factors still heighten the risk of acquiring dental problems. Whenever we eat and don’t brush our teeth, this leaves room for bacteria to feast, emitting waste and contributing to plaque and acid erosion, leading to weakened enamel.


Be sure that you have supplemental insurance to cover regular visits to your dentist. Regular upkeep is essential to preventing further complications. The signs of someone who has diabetes and may not know it yet may include dry mouth, higher risk of cavities, gingivitis, delayed wound healing, and erupted teeth. However, by regularly visiting the dentist and being diligent about your oral habits, you can prevent and alleviate infectious diseases within the mouth.


Form Overall Healthy Habits for a Better Lifestyle


Regular cleaning, twice daily, will eliminate poor dental habits, according to Colgate Oral Health Center. Brushing and flossing will also not only keep your teeth and gums clean, but will prevent bacteria from causing decay, which can lead to bad breath, known as halitosis.


Brushing your teeth can help illuminate yellowing teeth and aid swollen gums without causing harm. Some toothbrushes even contain mild abrasives to help you scrape away that extra layer of plaque and germs to reveal brighter, healthier teeth each time you brush. However, watch out for toothbrushes that are too abrasive as they can have adverse effects. Finding one to fit your individual needs, whether you have sensitivities or plaque issues is a must.


Also, don’t forget about the importance of keeping stress under control. Excess stress and anxiety can cause a number of ailments for those living with diabetes, including elevated blood sugar. While stress is part and parcel to life, too much puts anyone’s health at risk, and this includes oral health. Have a solid stress management strategy in place to mitigate the stressors in your life, and be intentional about follow-through. This could include everything from using deep-breathing exercises to decluttering your home, both of which can reduce stress.


Lastly, consider stress-relieving techniques like meditation. All you need is roughly 10 to 20 minutes per day to reduce the effects of stress in your life. Meditation can also help you avoid reaching for easy “stress relievers” such as a glass of alcohol or an unhealthy snack.


Consider Implants


While there are several factors for adult tooth loss, such as reduced hygiene, illness, and even outside trauma, dental implants will help improve self-esteem, speech, and facial structure, make eating easier, and improve the comfort of your mouth. However, implants will still require upkeep and regular cleaning, just as if they were real.


The type of procedure and implant varies, according to the individual, and can be acquired within one day but relies on a period of osseointegration (the ability of bone to attach to a metal surface), so that the bone and the prosthetic work well together. However, conditions such as diabetes or periodontal disease may require treatment before the procedure. Recovery time varies but can take between 2-6 months for the gums or jaw to fully heal.


Cleaning your implants is just as important as cleaning natural teeth. Once the fusing of the bone and the implant has occurred, the surrounding tissue still requires care, so flossing and brushing should remain a part of your daily oral regimen to prevent bone and implant loss. Once you and your dentist have established the proper means to care for your implants, it is now up to you to utilise the tools needed for successful oral hygiene.


Properly caring for your teeth, as well as your overall health, has many benefits that can affect you both physically and emotionally, especially if you have diabetes. It’s imperative that you take note of the signs of tooth decay or potential tooth loss by keeping these tips in mind so that you have healthy teeth and gums.


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