Slideshow: Diabetes and Your Mouth
4 Signs You May Have a Problem
Diabetes puts you at risk for dental problems. It hurts your ability to fight bacteria in your mouth. Having high blood sugar encourages bacteria to grow and contributes to gum disease. You may have gum disease if you have:
Gums that are red, sore, bleeding, or swollen, or that pull away from your teeth
Chronic bad breath
An irregular bite or dentures that don't fit well
Well-controlled diabetes helps keep your mouth healthy. If you have poorly controlled or high blood sugar, you have a higher chance of dry mouth, gum disease, tooth loss, and fungal infections like thrush. Since infections can also make your blood sugar rise, your diabetes may become harder to control. Keeping your mouth healthy can help you manage your blood sugar.
People with diabetes are more likely to have oral infections. You should get dental checkups at least twice a year. Let your dentist know you have diabetes and what medicines you take. Regular checkups and professional cleanings can help keep a mouth healthy. And your dentist can teach you the best ways to care for your teeth and gums at home.
Sticky plaque -- food, saliva, and bacteria -- starts to form on your teeth after you eat, releasing acids that attack tooth enamel. Untreated plaque turns into tartar, which builds under gum lines and is hard to remove with flossing. The longer it stays on your teeth, the more harmful it is. Bacteria in plaque causes inflammation and leads to gum disease. High blood sugar can make gum disease worse.
When you brush your teeth twice a day, it not only keeps your br Continue reading