November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes is a condition that can pose various complications to your oral health. If you are also managing multiple healthcare issues, as are many of the senior patients we see each year, your health risks increase.
In our previous blog post, we outlined complications that can arise from diabetes and that affect oral health. In this post, we discuss what you can do to keep your mouth and dentures healthy.
If you are diabetic and want to prevent gum disease and other conditions from taking hold, a few simple steps will help keep your mouth healthy.
Control your blood glucose level
Monitor your blood sugar level and follow your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugars, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
Brush and floss daily
Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums.
If you have remaining teeth, use dental floss once a day to remove plaque and bacteria that build up between teeth.
Keep your dentures clean
If you wear dentures, remove and clean them daily. Your denturist can recommend a product best suited for cleaning your denture. Diligent cleaning and care of your dentures will result in a lowered risk of infection.
Ensure your dentures fit properly
Denture wearers can sometimes develop denture sores. Diabetics are at increased risk of complications when sores are left untreated. If you develop a sore spot, make an appointment to have the site adjusted.
When your dentures stop fitting properly, speak to your denturist about having them relined or replaced.
See your denturist regularly
It’s possible to have gum disease and not even know it, so take advantage of preventive dental services. A professional may be able to spot signs of gum disease before you have any symptoms.
Also make sure to remind your denturist that you have diabetes. Knowing that will ensure your denturist can provide preventive care to help you manage proper denture and oral health.
Smoking increases the risk of serious diabetes complications, including gum disease and – ultimately – the loss of your teeth. If you smoke, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment. Paying extra attention to your denture and oral health can help prevent infections that could make your diabetes worse.