As with any complicated health issue, there are a lot of opinions and beliefs surrounding the diabetics’ oral health. Below are some common questions I am asked, along with answers.
Q: Doc, I don’t have to worry about gum disease, right? I brush every day and control my blood sugar.
A: To the contrary, gum disease is very common; according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of adults over age 30 suffer from some form of gum disease. Over 26 million people in the US have diabetes. Emerging research suggests the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but, serious gum disease may affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Because gum disease is so prevalent and because diabetics are nearly twice as likely to develop some form of gum disease, regular dental visits are critical to maintaining your overall health.
Q: Doc, I brush and floss everyday. What other preventive steps can I take as a diabetic concerned about periodontal disease?
A: First and foremost, control your blood glucose level. This can also help prevent or relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes. Some additional tips:
- Gently brush your tongue daily to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
- Tilt the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and roll the brush away from the gum line.
- Use floss, at least twice daily. Slide floss up and down, and then curve it around the base of each tooth.
- Question: Doc, I see you twice a year – that’s enough, right?
A: Regular dental checkups are critical for evaluating dental health and for treating dental problems in their initial stages. Your dentist may recommend more frequent evaluations and procedures to maintain strong oral health. Keep in mind: the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health states that good oral health is integral to general health. To schedule a free 2nd opinion, or, a new patient exam, just call our office. Call today: (503) 371-2424.
WELLNESS SPRINGS DENTAL 3460 LIBERTY RD S SALEM, OR 97302 (503) 371-2424