Diabetes in Huntingdon County and Your Teeth

People with diabetes can have tooth and gum problems more often then people without fluctuating blood sugar levels. The higher your blood sugar levels the more damage your entire body is undertaking, including your teeth and gums. High blood sugar levels make the bacteria (present in plaque) multiple faster than normal. Add smoking to diabetes and you end up with a 78% chance of loosing some or all of your teeth, according to a study done at Pittsburgh University in 2003.

How do you know if damage is happening in your mouth? First and foremost, you need to have routine six month periodontal maintenance and examinations done at your dentist office. This is very important if you would like keep your teeth. Signs that damage is happening includes; red, sore or swollen gums, bleeding gums, gums pulling away from your teeth, loose or sensitive teeth, bad breath, bite that feels different, or dentures/partials not fitting well. If any of these symptoms are happening to you, call your dentist and make an appointment today.

How can you keep your teeth and gums healthy? Keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible. Brush your teeth with an electric or battery powered toothbrush three to four times daily. Floss your teeth twice daily. If you smoke – quit. If you wear false teeth, keep them clean and keep them out at night if you can. Call your dentist right away if you have red, sore, or bleeding gums. Schedule biannual hygiene visits combined with an exam from the dentist. Be sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes. Inform your dentist of any issues regarding your teeth, no symptom is too small. Also be sure your hygienist or dentist performs an oral cancer screening at each appointment.

Diabetes is an extremely destructive disease that effects your entire body, your teeth may be giving you signs that you body is under stress. Pay close attention to your mouth, many times that is where the first signs are found. For more information check out these websites: www.diabeteshealth.com , www.diabetesorg.com, www.eatright.org, or www.nohicr.nih.gov.

Healthy Hints for Smiles for Life by Heather Metzler RDH

For more information or questions contact the office of Jeffery D. Hartman DMD,PC., www.drhartmandentistry.com, 814-643-9414




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