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Medical Conditions and Dental Health Link

Maintaining a proper oral hygiene schedule is important for all individuals, but did you know that individuals with diabetes need to take extra precautions to ensure their teeth and gums are in tip-top shape?

November is recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month, we’re going to talk about the connection between diabetes and oral health, including what individuals with diabetes can do to maintain their oral health.

How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

Individuals with diabetes are more at risk to developing gum disease than those without the condition. This is largely a result of not having strong control over blood sugar levels. Gum disease is also more likely to occur in diabetes because they are more prone to developing infections.

However, there are a few extra steps diabetics can take to ensure they don’t develop periodontal disease.

1. Drink More Water

A common side effect of diabetes is dry mouth, which can play a role in developing gum disease. Because our saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and acids that can cause gum disease, not drinking enough liquids can actually promote their growth. If you have diabetes, be sure you’re getting enough water.

2. Brush and Floss Regularly

Brushing and flossing is important for everyone, but those with diabetes are more likely to experience a build up of bad bacteria. Because a diabetic has a higher chance of developing an infection, they will want to remove the bacteria before it can settle in. Brush and floss after eating meals and maintain a regular cleaning schedule with your dentist.

3. Be Careful of Sores

Diabetes can slow the healing process, meaning sores are more likely to linger. Be careful of biting your cheeks while chewing and avoid eating sharp foods that may cut your gums. If you do have a sore or bite, be sure to keep it clean so that it can properly heal.

To maintain oral hygiene with diabetes, you’ll want to keep your blood sugar in check and keep up a strong schedule of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist. If you’re ready to schedule a routine cleaning or are in need of additional dental care, contact the Kansas City, MO office of Dr. Anderson.

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