People with diabetes are more at risk for multiple complications including periodontal or gum disease. High blood sugar plays a part in creating an unfavorable environment for the mouth, teeth, and gums.
Blood vessel changes occur when diabetes is out of control and excess sugar coats the mouth. Even the sugar and starches from food join with the bacteria to make the situation worse. The blood vessels job is to carry oxygen and nutrients to the mouth and remove waste products. Chronic high blood sugar thickens the vessels and changes their ability to protect the mouth. Diabetes decreases your ability to fight off bacteria; having more bacteria in the mouth leads to an increase of plaque formation which is a soft sticky material. If the plaque is not continuously removed by proper mouth care, it hardens and becomes tartar. The tartar irritates the gums causing them to swell and bleed and this is the cycle of gum disease. Periodontal disease destroys soft tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. New theories now support the possibility that gum disease can increase heart disease and people with diabetes are already at increased risk for this complication.
What to do to keep the mouth healthy and clean?
- Do not smoke.
- Brush twice a day at a minimum and try to brush following meals. A wonderful product by Mouth Watchers created by a Boston dentist offering quality and technology is well worth trying to help reduce mouth problem issues. They have created a line of tooth brushes that are impregnated with silver in the bristles which kills germs and bacteria within 6 hours of use. This prohibits the reintroduction of bacteria into the mouth following brushing; Germs and bacteria are constantly growing on tooth brushes’ since they are always moist. They are a breeding ground for colds, flu and bad breath. The silver has antibacterial and anti fungal properties; It eliminates 99.9% of bacteria. The outer bristles are extremely thin and long and act like dental floss around the gum line .They are gentler to the gums and give a massaging action. The inner bristles are thick and hard and help clean the points, fissures and fossa of the teeth. It feels like you have just been to the dentist according to multiple patients that have given testimonials’. The tooth brush comes in youth size-hand held, adult size hand held as well as electric with multiple head replacements. You should replace the toothbrush within 3-6 months or when the bristles flatten out. The electric version oscillates 5000 times per minute which allows for great cleaning. Remember to brush in small circular motions and avoid hard scrubbing against the gum line. They all offer a comfortable grip.
- Use a tongue scrapper. Bacteria sit at the base of the tongue.
- Use fluoride in your toothpaste to reduce cavities and to increase bone strength.
- Use dental floss to remove stubborn particles between the teeth. Use wax floss if your teeth are tight and close together.
- Schedule regular dental visits at least twice a year.
- Use a mouth rinse that does not contain alcohol or sugar.
Proper mouth care is easy to do when you know the steps to take and the products to use.