Did you know that World Diabetes is celebrated on November 14th, every year? November 14th is a significant date in the diabetes calendar because it marks the birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. Banting discovered insulin in 1922, alongside Charles Best.
I bet you didn’t know that people with poorly controlled diabetes are at higher risk for dental problems? People who have diabetes are more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold their teeth in place because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums.
High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse, and who wants all that happening in their mouth? Less saliva can allow more tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup. With good blood sugar control and dental care, you can avoid these problems.
Proper dental care
To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, take diabetes and dental care seriously:
- Make a commitment to manage your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush thoroughly. Get a new toothbrush at least every three months.
- Make sure your dentist knows you have diabetes. Every time you visit your dentist or Superior Dental Health, remind them that you have diabetes. Make sure your dentist has contact information for your doctor who helps you manage your diabetes.
- Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling, and bleeding gums — to your dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms, such as dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.