How to keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have diabetes – National Diabetes Week July 2021

Diabetes affects people all over the Australia and the world. Early detection can allow you to get treatment sooner and potentially avoid further complications. If you have diabetes, it’s also important to know how this increases your risk of developing certain oral health conditions, and how you can lower these risks.

It’s National Diabetes Week 11th– 17 July and the caring team at Bonnells Bay Dental thought it was an ideal opportunity to discuss how to keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have diabetes.

Poorly controlled diabetes increases the severity of gum disease while advanced gum disease makes control of blood sugar levels more difficult. If you are living with diabetes, you need to pay close attention to your oral health and dental care, as well as controlling your blood glucose levels.

The most common oral health problems affecting people with diabetes are:

•             periodontal (gum) disease

•             gum abscesses

•             tooth decay

•             fungal infections such as thrush

•             lichen planus (an inflammatory, autoimmune skin condition)

•             mouth ulcers

•             taste disturbances

•             a dry, burning mouth (low saliva levels).

How to keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have diabetes:

  • Quit smoking – smoking can make gum disease worse. Smokers are up to six times more likely than non-smokers to have periodontal disease.
  • Brush and floss properly-gently brush your teeth twice a day using a small, soft toothbrush and a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Spit the toothpaste out, don’t rinse.
  • Eat a healthy diet– follow a healthy and balanced diet. Limit how much and how often you have food and drink high in sugar (if you need help with this, see your local Accredited Practicing Dietitian).
  • Keep hydrated– drink fluoridated tap water regularly.
  • Visit your dentist regularly– Have your teeth and gums checked and cleaned by a dentist once or twice a year (unless they recommend otherwise). Seek advice if you have mouth ulcers, sores, infections or pain in your teeth or gums.
  • Protect your mouth– wear a mouthguard if you are playing contact sport.

It is recommended to visit your dentist regularly for advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

It is important that patients with diabetes inform their dentist and outline the names of all prescribed and over-the counter tablets and medicines being taken.

The team at Bonnells Bay Dental are here to support you and help you to achieve optimal oral health and wellness. Contact us today!