You remember that song from school, right? The one that goes “Your shin bone’s connected to your knee bone, your knee bone’s connected to your thigh bone,” and so on? Well, even kids know from that song that everything in the body is connected – and that includes your smile. In this post, the team at Hendricksen Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, your premier dentist in Goode, explains how diabetes impacts your smile, and how keeping your blood sugar levels under control can help maintain a healthier dental status.
How Does Diabetes Impact My Smile?
Dr. Ron Hendricksen understands the link between diabetes and oral health. He explains the following connections:
- Research shows an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes.
- Oral infections are harder to treat in patients with diabetes, due to compromised healing ability.
- Oral thrush, a painful fungal infection in the mouth, often affects patients with diabetes.
- Dry mouth is a common symptom of diabetes that can leave your teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
- Tooth loss is more prevalent in patients with diabetes, due to the increased rates of periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
How Can I Protect My Smile If I Have Diabetes?
We recommend the following dental health strategies for patients with diabetes:
- 2x2x2 – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day – and floss while you’re at it. Be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional exams and cleanings, since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your smile.
- Eat Healthy – Limit sugar to keep your blood glucose stable and prevent tooth decay. Cut out sodas and fruit juices and switch to water, and enjoy leafy greens and dairy products that are loaded with calcium – say cheese, since this treat can help prevent cavities and has a low impact on your glycemic index.
- Don’t Smoke – Using tobacco in any of its forms not only increases your risk of oral cancer exponentially, it leads to gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. Do your entire body a favor and quit today.
- See Your Dentist – If you have diabetes in Goode, you should be extra vigilant about preventive dental care like regular checkups and cleanings from Dr. Hendricksen. Be sure to see us at least twice a year, and let us know if you have diabetes, so we can treat you with extra special care during your appointment.
- Chew Gum – Xylitol is a great natural sweetener that helps reduce enamel problems, and chewing gum with this ingredient can keep your mouth hydrated. And, increase your oral hydration with water to keep your mouth happy.
Now that you know how diabetes can affect your smile, schedule your appointment with Hendricksen Cosmetic & Family Dentistry to keep your smile healthy and bright!