The Wisdom of Teeth

Top 5 Ways Your Teeth Can Help Your Diabetes

Dental problems can be painful and costly. They are also preventable. Often at a visit to the dentist, people are reminded to lay off the sugar. Sugar is considered to be a  primary causes of cavities for many. So it is easy to see why there is a strong  correlation between diabetes and poor dental health. Elevated blood sugar increases the risk of cavities and inflammation of the gums.  In addition, diabetics are proned to decreased saliva production which can also accelerate the rate of decay.  Diabetes and poor dental hygiene can be recipe for serious problems.

So, if you are a diabetic or have a prediabetic condition, make good dental care a priority, and here are our top 5 things to help.

  1. Be sure to brush and floss twice daily. 
    • Simple enough, and we’ve heard it enough, but this post is about good dental health, so this one is obvious, just do it.
  2. See your dentist at least twice a year.
    • If your blood sugar is not under control you may need to go more often. No matter what it is best to see the professionals and check in, they spend a lot of time looking at teeth and know what to look for in the places you have a hard time seeing. Basically, you do your job, and theirs is a lot easier, quicker, and simpler, hopefully just routine.
  3. Use dental products with fluoride.
    • Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on teeth and reduces cavities.  Most tap water is enriched with fluoride, but many people drink only bottled water and heavily filtered water and consequently, do not get the fluoride they need.
  4. Avoid rinses with alcohol.
    • Alcohol can be drying and may worsen problems associated with decreased saliva production, accentuated if not already receiving enough fluoride.
  5. Finally, minimize or even, eliminate fizzy- sugary drinks. Though not easy, the benefits are tremendous! Soda is the simple example, but don’t forget those mixers for your cocktails as well. Plenty of tips and tricks on eliminating these drinks, find those that work for you!

Good dental care is important to overall health and well-being.  Whether already diabetic, or a burgeoning prediabetic, start today to reduce the possibilities of additional health risks and complications. In the words of an old Chinese proverb, “A smile will gain you ten more years of life.”

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  6. Thanks for your comment. This information is a brief overview of dental care recommendations made by a dentist for people that suffer from diabetes. The American Cancer Society has studied flouride for more than 50 years and wrote the following. “The National Research Council (NRC), part of the National Academies, issued a report titled “Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride”. Its conclusion was that “the available laboratory data are insufficient to demonstrate a carcinogenic effect of fluoride in animals.” They also concluded that “the weight of the evidence from the epidemiological [population-based] studies completed to date does not support the hypothesis of an association between fluoride exposure and increased cancer risk in humans.”
    On many health related topics there is a lack of concensus. For the diabetic, good dental care is very important and for many, fluoride is necessary.

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