Diabetes affects many aspects of your health, but you may be surprised to discover that your health condition also places you at greater risk for gum disease. Unfortunately, the inflammation and blood sugar fluctuations that occur with diabetes can make you more vulnerable to infections that occur in your gums. In addition to following your treatment plan for diabetes, you can also use these tips to preserve your oral health.
Avoid Dry Mouth
High blood sugar and certain medications that you may take to control your diabetes may decrease saliva production in your mouth. Since saliva helps to wash away bacteria from your teeth and gums, the reduced flow could allow pathogens to build up in your mouth. If you struggle with a dry mouth, you can try self-care measures at home such as staying hydrated or chewing sugar-free gum. If these do not help, consult with your oral health care professional to find out if there is a special mouth rinse or gel that you can use to keep the soft tissues in your mouth hydrated.
Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods
Your diet takes on greater importance now that you have a diabetes diagnosis. You should always eat while keeping your blood sugar levels in mind, you may also consider how the food that you eat influences your risk for gum disease. Soft foods, such as bread and pasta, tend to get stuck between your teeth where they are more likely to work their way into the gums and begin to cause inflammation. Harder foods, such as apples and fresh vegetables, help to reduce the risk of gum disease because they do not build up on the teeth. In fact, they provide a gentle scrubbing action as you chew that helps to remove tartar and plaque.
Determine Your Ideal Exam Schedule
Early detection is essential to prevent the worst effects of gum disease. For the average person, a visit to the dentist every six months is ideal; however, you may need to have additional exams if you show signs of gum disease. During a gum disease assessment, a special tool is used to check for pockets around your teeth that accumulate bacteria. An x-ray may also be used to check for bone loss in the jaw. If serious infection is found, then gum disease treatment helps you improve your oral health.
When you depend upon the ability to eat the right foods to control your blood sugar, you need to know that your teeth and gums are in top condition. Now that you know how diabetes affects your oral health, you can begin to implement strategies that promote healthier gums. For more information about gum disease diagnosis and treatment, you can contact dental offices like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.