November is National Diabetes Month, and as we raise awareness we also want to examine our lifestyle routines to make sure we are not only managing diabetes well but are also taking the proper preventative measures to ensure that this disease doesn’t affect other areas of our bodies. Did you know that people who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis, or advanced gum disease? Those with diabetes are also more susceptible to tooth decay, gingivitis, thrush, and dry mouth. Fortunately, these conditions and diseases are preventable if you maintain a healthy dental regimen while managing your diabetes.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR MOUTH AND BODY
If you haven’t already established a healthy dental regimen, talk with your dentist about how you can improve your daily hygiene routine. Make sure your dentist is aware that you are a diabetic. Studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of diabetic complications, so always keep regular appointments for cleanings and examinations and make sure you are managing your diabetes as directed by your doctor. Keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level can help further prevent the development of periodontal disease.
When maintaining your at-home care, always check for any signs of gum disease such as any redness, swelling, or bleeding at the gums. If you begin experiencing dry mouth or any new pain, talk to your dentist. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Talk with your dentist about possibly adding antiseptic mouthwash to your daily dental regimen. Avoid smoking, as this is an additional risk factor for periodontal disease.
In addition to maintaining a healthy dental regimen, there are a few details that might be beneficial for you to consider when scheduling dental appointments and procedures. Try scheduling your exams and cleanings in the morning. Usually, this is the time of day when blood sugar levels are optimal and the risk of hypoglycemia is reduced. Be mindful of the time of day when you have peak insulin activity. If mornings are not a good time for you, try to schedule your appointments around the parts of your day when you feel the best and when your blood sugar is best under control.
Here at Dr. Stephanie Jenkins, we know you have a choice when it comes to your dental care. We are proud to help you manage your dental routine in conjunction with the treatment you’ve been prescribed for the management of your diabetes. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Stephanie Jenkins today.