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If you've recently been placed on medication or a strict diet after being diagnosed with diabetes, you may still be struggling with the demands of your new lifestyle. After dealing with multiple doctor's appointment and pharmacy waits over the past few months, the last thing you may feel like doing is making an appointment with your dentist -- however, receiving proper oral care is more important now than ever before. Read on to learn more about some of the effects diabetes can have on your teeth and gums, as well as what you should do to keep your mouth in great condition while managing your diabetes.
How can diabetes affect your mouth?
For cases in which your diabetes was diagnosed before you began showing many symptoms, you may find that diabetes has a minimal effect on your mouth. However, if your symptoms were more severe or haven't yet responded well to stabilizing medication or insulin, you could experience chronic dry mouth or even minor yeast infections on your tongue or inner cheeks. Because poorly-managed diabetes can affect your circulation, this condition could cause your gums to recede and even lead to tooth loss if proper preventive measures aren't taken.
What should you change about your oral routine after a diagnosis of diabetes?
Even if you're not dealing with many symptoms or your blood sugar reading is remaining steady with the help of diet or medication, it's a good idea to schedule more frequent cleanings with your dentist to help keep a professional eye on your mouth. During these cleanings, your dentist will be able to check the condition of your gums, measure any pockets between your gums and teeth that could indicate the beginnings of periodontal disease, and treat any minor sores or abrasions that could be prone to slow healing. Cleaning your teeth and treating them with fluoride will also help eliminate any tartar buildup that could attract bacteria -- because diabetes can make you more prone to developing infections, keeping bacteria at bay is a must.
To keep your mouth as pathogen-free as possible between dental visits, you'll also want to invest in an electronic toothbrush and water flosser. These high-powered devices are much more efficient at removing food particles and other debris that can harbor bacteria. You may even be able to use tax-free dollars from your health savings account or flexible spending account to help purchase these items. Talk to a dentist, like Randolph Dental Group, for more help.