Diabetes is a disease which affects your ability to process sugar. Most people who are familiar with the disease know it can affect your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. A lesser known fact is that it can affect your mouth.
Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, occurs when the bacteria in your mouth settle into your gums. If left untreated, the disease could seriously damage your gums, mouth tissue, and bones.
Those with poor blood sugar control are at a higher risk for periodontal disease. Thus, if you have diabetes (which causes higher blood sugar), your dentist may want you to visit more often.
Once one develops periodontal disease, they will notice their diabetic symptoms worsen. As with all infections, periodontal disease could cause a spike in blood sugar, making your diabetes harder to control.
If you have diabetes, the most important thing is to visit the dentist regularly. Some dentists recommend scheduling an appointment every few months, just to catch the disease early; or, if you already have it, to keep it treated and under control. It’s also important to practice good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing twice a day, for two minutes at a time, keeps bacteria at bay and lowers the risk of developing the disease.
Here are some other measures you should take if you have diabetes:
– Avoid smoking
– Control your blood sugar levels by eating healthier and exercising regularly
– If you wear dentures, mouth guards, or retainers, make sure to clean them every day