Dental Care and Diabetes

Did you know that over 29 million people today are affected by diabetes?  Diabetes can affect the whole body including your mouth.  Proper Dental care is  important for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars.

So what can you do if you have diabetes to insure good oral health? Here are some day to day dental heath care tips courtesy of  webmd.com:

  • Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition.)
  • Prevent plaque buildup on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. The best time is at least 30 minutes after eating to allow re-mineralization of any enamel that had been softened by acid in the food. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily. Do not sleep in them.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
  • Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

Contact our office at Brogdon Dental for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Four Steps to a Healthy Summer Smile for Kids

Summer is here and your kids are home and eating more snacks than usual. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. They may even have a lot of fat in them too. So what should you do? According to colgate.com there are some things you can do to help your kids have healthier teeth.

KNOW WHAT FOODS ARE BAD FOR YOUR TEETH AND WHAT FOODS ARE GOOD

Candy bars aren’t the only culprits. Foods such as pizza, breads, and hamburger buns may also contain sugars. Check the label. The new food labels identify sugars and fats on the Nutrition Facts panel on the package. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey, molasses and syrups also react with bacteria to produce acids, just as refined table sugar does. These foods also are potentially damaging to teeth.

Your child’s meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including fruits and vegetables; grains, including breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, nuts and seeds. Some snack foods have greater nutritional value than others and will better promote your child’s growth and development. However, be aware that even some fresh fruits, if eaten in excess, may promote tooth decay. Children should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. (So should you!)

Four  simple steps you can take include:

  • Cut back on bottled water.  Tap water includes fluoride.
  • Eat more apples and celery.  Highly fibrous foods give your gums a workout.
  • Substitute low fat, no sugar added yogurt for ice cream. It tastes great too!
  • Stock up on straws.  Sipping acidic liquids are less harmful to your teeth.

Summer can be a healthy time for your kids with more outdoor activities.  By watching what they eat, you can help make it healthier for their (and your) teeth too.

 

 

Dental Care and Diabetes

Many people do not associate diabetes with dental care, but if you suffer from diabetes you need to take special care of your teeth and gums.

According to Web MD, “Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth. Dental care is particularly important for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars. The less well controlled the blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise. This is because uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body’s main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth.”

People with diabetes face a higher risk of:

  • Dry mouth. Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth can further lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis and periodontitis). Besides impairing white blood cells, another complication of diabetes is that it causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. When this combination of events happens, the body’s ability to fight infections is reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics with uncontrolled disease may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
  • Poor healing of oral tissues. People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.
  • Thrush. People with diabetes who frequently take antibiotics to fight various infections are especially prone to developing a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Burning mouth and/or tongue. This condition is caused by the presence of thrush.

Here are some oral health tips from Web MD:

Day-to-Day Dental Health Care Tips

  • Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition.)
  • Prevent plaque buildup on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
  • dental-health-dental-care-diabetes

Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

It is essential that you follow good dental health practices, especially if you suffer from diabetes.  Dr. Brogdon needs to be aware of your condition as well.  Notify our office immediately in the event of any changes in your mouth, gums or teeth. We are concerned about your dental care and know you are too!