Sadly, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in on the rise. While some of that may be due to diet, it’s also because more doctors can properly diagnose this disease. Either way, it’s a diagnosis you have to deal with every day.
Having diabetes is tough. You have to be careful about your diet, exercise, eyes, and even your feet. And you can’t just sit around eating sugary treats! But did you know that diabetes can complicate your dental health? Read on to learn how having diabetes can hurt your teeth and gums — and what you can do about it.
Why Poor Dental Hygiene Matters
There are so many things you have to worry about: blood sugar, testing strips, insulin, medication, and more. Do you really need to add dental health to the list? Unfortunately, yes. As River Run Dental explains, one of the biggest problems you can have with your smile is gum disease. It can increase your risk of heart disease, strokes, and even Alzheimer’s. Plus, healthy teeth and gums are needed to eat tough vegetables, an essential part of a diabetes-friendly diet.
But when you have diabetes, it’s harder to have good dental health. Diabetes.org explains that the lower immune system found with diabetes increases your chances of gum disease and thrush. If your body is dehydrated thanks to too much glucose in the blood, then you might not have the saliva to wash away food particles and fight cavities.
Turning Actions Into Habits
If your dental health is so important when you have diabetes, what can you do about it? Mouth Healthy has several recommendations. The most obvious is to keep your blood sugar under control. This helps your body fight infections like gum disease that much better. In addition, make sure you brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently floss every day. Poor dental hygiene is certainly one way to ruin your smile.
In addition, your diet needs to be diabetes-friendly. It’s not like you cannot eat sugar or carbohydrates ever again, but those need to be limited. Instead, focus on lean protein and vegetables. Not only are they better for your blood sugar, it’s better for your teeth as well.
Knowing how to help yourself is one thing, but turning those actions into habits is another thing entirely. How can you do that? Jamesclear.com explains you need to focus on reminders, routines, and rewards. Start by setting reminders to do the good dental hygiene habits you want. Then keep practicing by doing the same thing whenever you see the reminder. Finally, give yourself some rewards when you do those actions repeatedly.
How Dental Implants Can Help
All the best habits in the world don’t help much when you are missing a tooth or two. Whether it’s from a sports injury or a bad cavity, a gap in your smile will cause problems to anyone. As is often the case, having diabetes can make those problems worse.
That’s why you need to consider getting a dental implant. Filling the gap left by a missing tooth will help your teeth stay straight, but it will also help keep food particles from collecting in that space. This would make it more likely to get gum disease, which is already higher due to your diabetes. Besides, you need all your teeth so you can eat a diabetes-friendly diet.
Protect Your Dental Health
Although you already have enough to worry about with diabetes, your teeth and gums are vital to your health. Don’t let your dental hygiene get out of control. Clean your teeth, watch your diet, and fill any gaps with a dental implant. This can help you have one less thing to worry about.