For many of us, the advent of Halloween ushers in the season of indulging in rich and sugary foods. From the candy-laden holiday to starch-soaked Thanksgiving and then into the season of sugar plums, hor d’oeuvres and other goodies, the end of the year can be a true gauntlet for the 30 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes.
Left untreated or poorly monitored, diabetes can not only take a toll on your physical health, it comes with an increased risk to your oral health as well. Here’s how:
Dry Mouth: Low blood sugar can result in less saliva, resulting in a condition called dry mouth. Because saliva protects your teeth, this puts you at a higher risk for developing cavities.
Gigivitis: This is an early stage of gum disease and is characterized by gums that are inflamed or bleed often.
Delayed Healing or Frequent Infection: You may find that mouth sores take a long time to heal. You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
Dulled Sense of Taste: You may have problems tasting food.
So, if you have diabetes, here’s what you need to know to protect that smile and keep your spirits high throughout the holiday season:
Control Your Levels.
Ensuring that your blood glucose levels are stable and under control is the best thing you can do for your oral health, as well as your overall health. You are more likely to develop serious gum disease and even lose more teeth if your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled.
Monitor Your Dietary Intake.
It’s easy to get off-track and lose control of your levels with all the temptations of the holiday season. Monitor your blood sugar carefully. Adding or increasing exercise can also help you control your levels.
Maintain a Rigorous Oral Health Routine.
Brush twice a day and floss daily. If you wear dentures, clean them daily. This is especially important during the holiday season when we tend to eat more frequently.
Keep Your Dentist in the Know.
Those with diabetes have special needs and, as your partner in good oral health, we’re equipped to help you meet those needs. To do our best, we need you to keep us informed of any changes in your condition and medications.
Follow a Regular Dental Care Schedule.
Regular dental visits are important. According to the American Diabetes Association research is emerging to suggest that serious gum disease can not only be caused by diabetes but it can also increase blood sugar levels. It’s also a good idea to avoid any non-emergency procedures when you’re struggling to control your blood sugar levels.
We’re committed to the whole health of our patients. Call us at (615) 790-8494 and let us serve you.