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Diabetes and Dental Health

Summary:


People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing tooth decay, gum (periodontal) disease, fungal disease, dry mouth, delayed healing, taste impairment and other oral (mouth) health conditions.




Contents

Diabetes and Gum Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is often linked to the control of diabetes. People with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often, more severe and lose more teeth than people with good control of their diabetes. This is due to the lowered resistance and longer healing process in people with diabetes. That makes good control of sugar levels, good oral care and regular dental checkup an important part of your diabetes management.


Maintain Good Blood Sugar Control

Good blood sugar control is unlikely to lead to development of gum (periodontal) diseases that may affect the lost of teeth.

Oral Hygiene

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Replace the toothbrush every 3 months
  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss at least once a day or an interdental cleaner may help to remove decay-causing plague
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily

Dental Check-Up

Have regular dental check up at least two times per year and also to treat any dental health problems early.

What Information Do You Need to Inform Your Dentist?

  • You have diabetes mellitus and any other medical conditions
  • Your current treatment especially if you are on ‘blood-thining medications’ e.g. aspirin, warfarin etc
  • Your current blood sugar level
  • Names of any supplements that you are currently taking



References: Joslin Diabetes Center, 2010 “Dental Health And Diabetes” American Dental Association, 2009” Diabetes and Your Oral Health” For more information visit these web sites: www.joslindiabetescenter.org & www.ada.org.

- Last updated 21 Dec 2010,3:46 pm




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