Diabetes is a disease that affects the body on the whole. Diabetics are at higher
risk for gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum
disease), because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection and
have a decreased ability to fight bacterial infection.
Since people with diabetes are more prone to conditions that may harm their oral
health, it's essential to follow dental care practices, pay special attention to
changes in oral cavity and seek prompt dental consultation. Here are some tips to
- Keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible
- On dental visit, tell your dentist about the status of your diabetes,episodes of
hypoglycaemia and your last dose of insulin, if you take it.
- Consult your physician before scheduling treatment for periodontal disease. Ask
your dentist to talk to your doctor about your overall medical condition before
any dental treatment is performed. If oral surgery is planned, your doctor or dentist
will advise you about pre- surgical antibiotics, changes in meals, timing and dosage
of your insulin.
- Make sure to give the dentist your physician’s name and phone number to include
in personal file. This information will then be readily accessible should any questions
or concerns arise.
- Inform the dentist about the medications and dosages you are taking. The dentist
needs this information in order to prescribe medications least likely to interfere
with your current medications. If a major infection is being treated, your insulin
dose may need to be adjusted.
- Postpone non-emergency dental care procedures if your blood sugar is not in control.
However, acute infections, such as abscesses, should be promptly treated.
- Remember that healing takes longer in people with diabetes. Closely follow your
dentist's post- treatment instructions.
- Diabetics with orthodontic appliances (such as braces) should contact their orthodontist
immediately if a wire or bracket results in a cut to their tongue or mouth
- Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your
dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition).
- Prevent plaque build-up on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
- Brush your teeth after every meal.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.