Diabetes is a disease that keeps the body from properly processing food into usable energy. If diabetes is not controlled or maintained, it can lead to overall health concerns such as heart disease, eye problems, kidney failure, and oral health complications. In fact, there is a known link between diabetes and an increased risk of gum disease and tooth loss. So during this Diabetes Awareness Month, your dentist in Hagerstown wants to share a few oral health tips for diabetics.
- Focus on Blood Glucose
There are an estimated 30 million Americans with diabetes. That’s 30 million people who are focused on checking and maintaining their blood glucose levels several times a day. After all, keeping blood glucose numbers within a healthy range is how diabetics stay healthy and avoid hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or long-term problems like organ damage. But your dentist in Hagerstown wants you to know that maintaining blood sugar can also help decrease the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection in the gum tissues that can also lead to some whole-body concerns such as heart disease. Additionally, like any infection, gum disease can cause blood sugar spikes and make diabetes difficult to manage.
- Choose Healthy Foods
One of the best ways to keep blood glucose levels in check is to choose healthy foods and follow a well-balanced diet. Avoiding sugary sweets and hidden sugars in high carbohydrate foods not only helps prevent blood sugar spikes, but it can also protect teeth against decay. Whenever possible, choose nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and lean meats or follow your diet plan as recommended by your doctor.
- Brush Your Teeth
Your dentist in Hagerstown knows just how important it is for everyone to brush their teeth every day, whether they’re diabetics or not. However, practicing good oral hygiene is even more important for those who have diabetes as it can go a long way in keeping gum disease at bay. Good oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth twice a day, every day for at least two minutes, using fluoride toothpaste, and flossing in between each and every tooth daily. It’s also important to gently brush your tongue to remove any bacteria that may have wiggled their way into the hidden peaks and valleys.
Besides brushing your teeth regularly and flossing every day, it’s incredibly important for both diabetics and non-diabetics to see their dentist in Hagerstown every six months for a professional cleaning and a thorough checkup so that we can catch and treat any potential problems early.
If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental visit, call to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you.