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Dental care important for people with diabetes

Dental care important for people with diabetes

For dental patients with diabetes, preventive dental care is important. This includes a professional cleaning at the dental office.

Diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process; because of this the gums are among the tissues most likely affected.

When diabetes is not controlled properly it creates high glucose levels in saliva which may help bacteria thrive. These bacteria can cause higher levels of plaque. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste as well as cleaning once a day between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner can help remove decay causing plaque. Plaque when not removed can harden, or calcify, into calculus or tartar. When tartar collects above the gum line it becomes more difficult to thoroughly brush and clean between teeth. This can create conditions that lead to chronic inflammation in the mouth.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease can complicate the control of diabetes. For example, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and severely and lose more teeth than people who have good control of their diabetes.

See your dentist if you experience any of the following: gums that bleed easily, red, swollen or tender gums, gums that have pulled away from the teeth or pus between teeth and gums when gums are pressed.