Diabetics: Fight Back Against Plaque
Nearly 26 million U.S. adults and children have diabetes – 8.3% of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you have diabetes, plaque is among your worst enemies. Plaque is a sticky substance made up of food and bacteria, which adheres to your teeth. It attacks gums, making them bleed. Gum disease is worse if you have diabetes. It also progresses faster because diabetes weakens your body’s resistance to infections. In addition to gum disease, diabetes can also lead to other health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and blindness. And gum disease can make any of these health problems worse. If you have one or more of these common dental problems related to diabetes, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible:
- •Gums, that are red, swollen and bleed easily. •Loose, separating teeth and receding gums. •Persistent bad breath. •Changes in bite or sensitive teeth.
•Changes in how dentures fit.
•Maintain normal blood glucose levels. Be sure to tell your dental office you have diabetes and see your dentist regularly. •Eat a well-balanced diet,
with servings of fruits and vegetables. •Don’t smoke. •Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once daily.