Why is oral hygiene so important in context to diabetes?
Diabetics have a higher risk of developing oral health problems like periodontitis, gingivitis or caries. The high blood sugar level changes the balance in the oral cavity and can lead to poorer blood circulation to the gums. The effects are dry mouth, inflammation of the gums, torn corners of the mouth and a fungal infection called thrush, which causes painful white patches in your mouth. To relieve thrush symptoms, a dentist or doctor can prescribe a medicine that kills the fungus that causes thrush. You may also need a special cleanser for your dentures.
If existing gingivitis is not treated, it can have dire consequences for diabetics. Insulin resistance is increased and blood sugar levels worsen. Chronic inflammation can also lead to a general decrease in the effectiveness of insulin. This a dangerous cycle that diabetics can prevent through thorough dental care and good dental health.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a chronic, bacterial inflammation of the periodontium. Gingivitis is a preliminary stage of it. Both are caused by bacteria on the tooth surface. Signs of gingivitis are red, swollen gums or even bleeding gums. With regular check-ups, dental treatment and good oral hygiene, gingivitis can be completely reversed. However, if these measures are not taken, periodontitis can develop. This usually progresses slowly but leads to the formation of gum pockets, which can also be purulent. Which leads to loose teeth. If it remains untreated, this results in tooth loss. Periodontitis is usually painless, so those affected often do not notice the inflammation.
Diabetes care and protection against gum disease (periodontitis)
Well-controlled blood glucose levels are especially important for maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Proper oral care is equally important to prevent dental diseases such as periodontal disease. Because bacteria remain on the teeth or under the gum line, the plaque hardens and forms tartar. Therefore, teeth should be brushed at home with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and dental floss should be used at least once a day to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth. In addition, mouthwash can further help to remove bacteria from the mouth. In addition, a soft toothbrush should be used for gentle dental care.
It is further important to have regular dental visits and to have your teeth cleaned by a professional dental hygienist. Dental hygiene helps prevent periodontitis and tooth decay. Bacterial plaque is also removed. And the final fluoridation protects and strengthens the tooth enamel. On top, your teeth will shine brighter after plaque removal.
More tips for healthy teeth with diabetes
A chewing, sugar-free and high-fibre diet should be given special consideration in diabetes management. This stimulates the salivary glands, promotes blood circulation to the periodontium and has a beneficial effect on diabetes.
In addition, diabetics should make sure that they drink enough fluids. This protects against dry mouth and prevents inflammation of the periodontium, tooth decay and bad breath. At least two litres of water should be drunk per day.
All readers are strongly advised to always seek the advice of a registered healthcare professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to make sure that the therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is appropriate for their situation.