Diabetes And Your Teeth And Gums
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is very important if you have diabetes. High blood sugar will cause germs to grow and the sticky film that is on your teeth, called plaque (PLAK), will build up, letting even more germs grow. Your gums could become red and sore, and maybe even bleed when you brush your teeth. Smoking makes it more likely for you to develop gum disease, especially if you are 45 years or older and have diabetes.
Red, sore gums are the first sign of gum disease that can lead to periodontitis (PER-ee-oh-don-TYtis) which is an infection of the gums and the bone that holds your teeth in place. If the infection gets worse, your gums may pull away from your teeth, leaving them loose. If you have symptoms of gum disease, call your dentist right away.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, maintain your blood glucose (sugar) levels as close to normal as possible. Use dental floss once a day. Brush your teeth after each meal and snack. Use a soft toothbrush. Have your teeth and gums cleaned by the dentist at least once a year. Be sure the dentist knows you have diabetes. If you wear false teeth, keep them clean.