If you are one of the millions of North Americans who suffer from diabetes, you need to pay special attention to your dental care, as you are especially susceptible to periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
Some people’s first indications of diabetes may come from a regular dental care appointment, where the dental hygienist notices some sign of the disease, whether it may be dry mouth, sore or loose teeth, burning mouth or tongue, chronic bad breath, gingivitis or gum disease. Bacteria thrive in the mouths of diabetics when there are high glucose levels present, and this increased level of bacteria, in conjunction with a patients reduced ability to resist infection, can lead to an increased risk of gum disease.
As a diabetic, you need to be vigilant with your dental hygiene, ensuring that you floss daily, brush a minimum of twice a day with a soft toothbrush and visit the dentist for a professional examination and cleaning at least every four or six months. When you do come in for a recare appointment, remember to eat beforehand in order to ensure your blood sugar is in the normal range. If you take insulin, your best choice for a dental appointment might be in the morning, after eating a normal breakfast.
It is vitally important for you to advise us if you are already aware that you have diabetes before embarking on any dental work, especially if you are scheduled for dental surgery.