How can diabetes hurt my teeth and gums?
- Tooth and gum problems can happen to anyone. A sticky film full of germs also called plaque builds up on your teeth. High blood glucose helps germs (bacteria) grow. Then you can get red, sore and swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
- People with diabetes can have tooth and gum problems more often if their blood glucose stays high. High blood glucose can make tooth and gum problems worse.
- You can even lose your teeth.
- Smoking makes it more likely for you to get a bad case of gum disease, especially if you have diabetes and are age 45 or older.
- Red, sore and bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. This can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infection in the gums and the bone that holds the teeth in place.
- If the infection gets worse, your gums may pull away from your teeth, making your teeth look long.
- Call your dentist if you think you have problems with your teeth or gums.
What to do to stay healthy with diabetes ?
- Follow the healthy eating plan that you and your doctor or dietitian have worked out.
- Eat your meals and snacks at around the same times each day.
- Be active a total of 30 minutes most days.
- Ask your doctor what activities are best for you.
- Take your diabetes medicine at the same times each day.
- Check your blood glucose every day. Each time you check your blood glucose, write the number in your record book.
- Call your doctor if your numbers are too high or too low for 2 to 3 days.
- Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, redness or sore toenails.
- Brush and floss your teeth and gums every day.
- Don't smoke.