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Seven Simple Ways Diabetics Can Prevent Gum Disease

diabetes and periodontal diseaseThe link between diabetes and periodontal disease is well-established. In fact, oral health is a challenging topic for diabetics of any age. Although the risks are real, they can be managed through the right combination of methods.

Let’s look at some oral health tips for preventing gum disease in those with diabetes:

Monitor Blood Sugar

Although it might seem like diabetes and gum diseases inevitably occur together, people with well-controlled diabetes are no more likely than non-diabetics to suffer from gum disease. That being the case, the most important thing you can do is monitor blood sugar.

Change Your Toothbrush

One important aspect of diabetes is preventing injury – the condition leads to slower wound healing. This goes for your mouth, too! Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and change your brush-head regularly. A rough brush can cut the soft tissue of your mouth and invite infection.

De-Stress

There is a clear link between stress and blood sugar. Stress episodes cause blood sugar to spike, which makes it more difficult to control blood sugar throughout the day. Take a look at the things that stress you out and look for ways to make improvements.

Drink Unsweetened Green Tea

Green tea promotes healthy teeth and gums in an enjoyable, satisfying way. By interfering with the body's inflammation response, it helps inhibit the activity of bacteria that cause gum disease. Too much inflammation is associated with a host of health problems.

Quit Smoking

A groundbreaking study among U.S. adults in 2009-2010 showed gum disease was highest among smokers. Smoking can restrict blood flow to the soft tissues of the mouth and may introduce cancer-causing agents into the body.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Although brushing and flossing are important, the body’s natural saliva is one of your most powerful dental health tools. Chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production, which helps keep teeth clean and curbs bacteria.

Start Flossing

About 20 percent of Americans never floss and it makes a difference. Flossing can be uncomfortable or even painful for diabetics. To prevent gum damage, consider using a water-jet flosser on a gentle setting instead of traditional string floss.

Good oral health is essential to overall health, and there’s no better way to preserve it than by seeing a dentist or periodontist every year. In Madison and throughout Wisconsin, good dental insurance makes periodontal services more affordable. To find out more, contact us.

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