If you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, your mind is probably in a whirlwind as you learn about how to take care of yourself with this chronic condition. Also, you may be learning about all of the complications that come with the disease. While you are adapting to lifestyle changes, do not neglect your oral health, as diabetes can affect it just as much as your circulation, eyesight, and other systems. To get started with taking care of your teeth and mouth, use the tips below.
1. Suck on Sugar-free Candy
One problem that many diabetics have is one that may have alerted them to a potential problem in the first place. Dry mouth is one of the main symptoms of diabetes, and it will continue even after a treatment regimen has been given to you.
Because of your high blood sugar, your body will produce less saliva than it did before, making your mouth feel unbearably dry. However, this chronic dry mouth does not only affect your comfort level, but it can also increase your risk of infection and gum disease.
Since saliva is one of your body's defenses against bacteria, a reduced amount creates an environment in your mouth that leads to their growth. Since your diabetes already makes you more susceptible to infection and problems fighting off germs, these bacteria can wreak havoc in your mouth.
To counter your dry mouth, suck on hard candy throughout the day, but make sure it is sugar-free. Not only will sugary candies affect your blood sugar, but it will also feed the bacteria that are trying to thrive in your mouth.
2. Brush Your Teeth with a Soft Toothbrush
Another problem that diabetes can cause in your mouth is that it can thin your gum tissue. Because the gums are thinner, they are more prone to microtears that will allow bacteria to invade the tissue and cause gum disease.
If you are used to brushing your teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush, switch it out with a softer one. Hard bristles will scratch the gum tissue and tear it, while a softer toothbrush will get your teeth and gums just as clean without causing any damage to your gums.
The above tips only give a couple of suggestions for taking care of your mouth after being diagnosed with diabetes. For more information about taking care of your oral health, make an appointment with a dentist and make sure you let them know about your diagnosis.