When a patient has diabetes they have to pay careful attention to every part of their body. One particular part of the body a diabetic should properly care for are their teeth. A person’s dental hygiene can affect their body positively or negatively, depending on how well they take care of their teeth. Those with diabetes are more susceptible to certain oral complications, and must take extra care to maintain proper dental health. There are several steps that diabetics can take to ensure their dental health remains in good standards.
Keeping Bacteria and Germs Under Control
The first step to maintaining good dental health involves keeping bacteria and germs under control. There are billions of bacteria in a person’s mouth, but bacteria can be managed and doesn’t have to pose a threat to a diabetic’s health. The first step to managing bacteria in the mouth is to regularly brush the teeth.
Most people are unaware of how long they should brush their teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that people brush their teeth at least twice a day. The brushing should last for a minimum of three minutes. Unfortunately, the average person only brushes their teeth for 45 to 70 seconds. This simply isn’t enough time to clean the teeth efficiently. In addition to brushing, it’s important that individuals remember to floss every day as well.
Making and Keeping Regular Dental Appointments
Regular dental appointments can make all the difference in keeping a smile clean and beautiful. Diabetics often see their physician regularly to monitor their blood sugar levels and general health. In addition to their personal physician, their personal dentist should also be a part of routine health care checkups. Maintaing regular dental appointments is one key to ensuring overall health.
Staying Aware of Gingivitis
People that have diabetes are especially vulnerable to gingivitis. Gingivitis is an infection in the gums. Gingivitis usually happens over time but can be prevented. Some signs that gingivitis could be affecting the mouth included holes or dark spots in the teeth, pain in the mouth, and pain when chewing. Dental care is essential to keep problems like gingivitis from occurring.
Better Dental Care is Essential
Individuals with diabetes can significantly improve their health by paying attention to their mouth and treating oral problems. Researchers at the Cochrane Institute discovered that treating gum disease can even lower blood sugar levels, which is essential to keeping diabetes under control. The first step in properly managing diabetes is to commit to the care of a health professional. Diabetics must remember that their dentist is just as valuable as their physician.