The importance of oral hygiene cannot be stressed enough, as the health of your mouth can affect many other parts of your body, including your heart. However, it’s especially imperative to take good care of your teeth and gums in addition to keeping your blood sugar under control in order to prevent disease. That’s why we created this article that offers the following tips and information.
Understanding the Problem
Individuals living with diabetes are more at risk for problems with their gums because they have a lowered immunity to infection, so it’s important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and let him know about any changes in your health. You may be more prone than the average person to things like:
fungal infections such as thrush
dry mouth, which can lead to other issues such as tooth decay
Gum disease is one of the most common ailments for people living with diabetes, and it’s caused by food and bacteria being trapped in and between the teeth. Without good brushing and flossing habits, you may be putting yourself at risk for this disease, which can lead to the loss of teeth. An even better solution is to brush with a Dr. Don Oral Kit, an all-natural antioxidant oral rinse and tooth powder that promotes fresher breath, cleaner teeth and healthy gums.
According to the American Dental Association, some gum disease symptoms to look for include dry mouth, perpetual bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding or swollen gums (or discharge from the gums when you brush), and widening spaces between teeth.
Because your blood glucose levels can directly affect your mouth health, keeping them where they need to be is imperative. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage your blood sugar; for instance, if you aren’t on medication, you may be able to control it with diet and exercise alone. What many people don’t understand is your overall diabetes control determines your eligibility for life insurance with diabetes.
Healthy eating is important for good oral health. In fact, many of the same dietary and behavioral changes that bring about better health are the same things you’ll want to do for good oral health. For example, stock your kitchen with healthy snacks instead of sugary or processed ones, and drink plenty of water. The best diet for a person living with diabetes can change depending on glucose levels. Some people don’t have enough glucose, while others have too much.
Do some research and, of course, consult your doctor about the best diet for you. Health.com points out that it might include whole grains rather than refined sugars (found in white bread, rice, and starchy foods like potatoes), and you might have to limit your intake of even naturally-occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit. Once you have a good plan sketched out for your diet, stick to it. Talk to your family about how everyone can get healthier by cutting out junk food, soda, and refined sugars.
If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit. Smoking cigarettes can have multiple damaging effects to the body, and for someone with diabetes who has to be conscientious of their oral health, it can be devastating. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep your mouth lubricated and use the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your needs.
Not only is smoking bad for your overall health and controlling your Diabetes, but it’s an expensive habit. Vin Agarwal with Diabetes Life Solutions tells us the following “A person who uses tobacco products while living with diabetes can pay 25% or more on health and life insurance premiums. As an example, we see many of our clients who are smokers paying nearly 30% more annually for life insurance with type 2 diabetes”
If you have existing dental issues and have only recently been diagnosed with diabetes, consider talking to your dentist about your options, including implants. Some individuals have found themselves in a tough spot when it comes to paying for their dental needs, which has left them unable to care for their mouths the way they want to, but you may be able to finance the work or have insurance pay for it.
Good oral health can keep you feeling and looking great for decades to come; the key is to make sure you stick with it and talk to your family to ensure they’ll support you. Talk to your loved ones about your needs and remember to ask for help when you need it. Taking good care of yourself is a big job, especially when you’re living with diabetes.
Matt Schmidt is the owner of Diabetes 365, an all-inclusive resource for those living with all types of diabetes.
He’s been working with the Diabetes community for over 17 years now to secure. Over this time frame, he’s helped out thousands of people secure life insurance coverage with Diabetes. He’s been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Simple Dollar, GoBanking Rates, MSN, Insurancenews.net, and Yahoo Finance.