Pay close attention to oral health if you have diabetes
SUMMARY: Diabetics, in particular, need to be stringent about oral health.
Posted: October 10, 2012
Anyone can find themselves struggling with halitosis, but some people may be more prone to this and other oral health problems than others. These individuals want to be sure to use oral care probiotics, specialty breath fresheners and other products that are designed to help them achieve optimal dental health without the use of harsh chemicals. In particular, individuals with diabetes should be certain to look into ways to prevent bad breath.
Diabetes is a blood sugar disorder that affects millions of Americans. Along with the many challenges individuals with this condition face, they have to be sure that they are taking proper care of their teeth. If not, they are sure to experience a host of oral health problems that may lead to bad breath or worse.
The diabetes/oral care connection
According to the American Diabetes Association, there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with this disorder. This is partially due to the fact that diabetes can lower a person's ability to fight off infections, and also because of complications that can arise if the condition is not controlled properly.
The American Dental Association (ADA) states that when diabetes is not under control, the high glucose levels that are present in a person's saliva can help the bacteria in the mouth thrive. This increases the chance of these organisms attacking tooth enamel and causing decay and gum disease.
The ADA recommends that people visit the dentist if they experience bleeding gums, red and swollen gums, pus between the teeth, loose teeth or persistent bad breath.
The American Diabetes Association adds that emerging research has suggested that the connection between dental health and diabetes may be a two-way street. Serious gum disease may affect the body's ability to control glucose levels and increase a person's risk of developing diabetes, not to mention cause some serious halitosis.
What can be done?
If you have diabetes, you should be sure to visit the dentist regularly so he or she can look for any emerging signs of gum disease. Furthermore, it's important to practice proper oral health habits such as brushing, flossing and using alcohol-free mouthwash.
Also, oral care probiotics may be a good choice for people with diabetes, since these products may help increase the amount of good bacteria in the mouth, which can help fight off the bad kinds that cause dental problems.