Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection. This includes gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease. Early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis includes bleeding gums upon brushing and/or flossing. If the gum disease progresses your gums may separate from your teeth. This causes bacteria to be trapped and boosts the risk of infections. If left untreated, the infection can destroy the bone that holds the teeth in place.
With diabetes, you are also at risk for fungal infections in the mouth. This is called oral candidiasis, or thrush. Xerostomia, or dry mouth is another common problem among people with diabetes. Saliva helps keep the mouth moist and helps to neutralize the acid in our mouth. If our mouths are dry, the acid isn’t being neutralized as quick, causing your teeth to be more prone to decay.
Taking care of your teeth at home is crucial. Make sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis. You should also have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months.
Taking care of your oral health will help not only your teeth and gums, but perhaps your diabetes control.
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