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How should I care for my teeth if I have diabetes?

Diabetes causes the body to be less resistant to infection, which affects your gums. It’s common for people with diabetes to have periodontal disease, especially if their blood sugar is not well controlled. In addition to regular visits to the dentist, you should also see your dentist if your gums are bleeding easily and frequently, or you have swollen or tender gums, pus in your gums, continual bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth, gums separating from your teeth or bite changes. These can be related to your diabetes and need professional treatment.

Oral health problems caused by diabetes can be avoided by controlling your diabetes. If you keep your blood sugar levels under control, you should be less susceptible to oral complications. If you develop an oral infection as a result of diabetes, you may need an antibiotic to treat it, or if a fungus causes the infection, you’ll need an antifungal medication. Ask your dentist if an antimicrobial mouthwash would help as well.

You can increase your oral health by simple measures like brushing your teeth two times daily, looking for signs of gum disease, flossing your teeth, avoiding tobacco products and visiting your dentist regularly. You can also avoid dental problems associated with diabetes by monitoring your blood glucose levels closely.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.