A lot of research has been conducted on the link between diabetes and oral health. In short, if you have poor oral health, you’re at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and if you have type 2 diabetes already, having poor oral health can worsen the condition – and your gums. But what if you already have type 2 diabetes without gum disease? Does having one condition automatically mean you will develop the other? Not necessarily, say experts.
If you have type 2 diabetes and are concerned about developing gum disease, here are some tips from the Cleveland Clinic to help reduce your gum disease risk.
Watch What You Eat
If you have diabetes, you likely are already on a restricted diet, low in sugar and sugary drinks. The good news is this diet will not only help you manage your diabetes, but it will also help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Try Tongue Scraping
Do you scrape your tongue? Using a tongue scraper is a great way to reduce plaque bacteria that can accumulate on the tongue and at the gum line, causing gingivitis and gum disease. This bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and worsen diabetes and other health conditions.
Flossing is another way to keep the gums clean by removing plaque and bits of debris stuck between the teeth. That plaque and debris attract nasty P. gingivalis bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is the simplest way to help reduce your risk of developing any kind of gum disease and cavities, though it only removes about 70 percent of plaque and bacteria, so be sure to floss, too.
Get Regular Cleanings
Getting regular cleanings doesn’t just make your teeth look whiter and feel cleaner – it removes dangerous tartar buildup along the gumline. This plaque and bacteria can infiltrate the gums, enter the bloodstream and cause the inflammation that leads to, you guessed it, gum disease.
If you do have type 2 diabetes, you should be in regular contact with your doctor, but you should also be in regular contact with Dr. Abelar. Be sure to let the office staff know if you have any pre-existing conditions including diabetes when you come in for your appointment.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-523-1400.