The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages the “better management of risk factors” to reduce the risk of health complications from diabetes. For example, smoking can contribute to the worsening of health outcomes. “Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increased blood sugar,” warned the CDC. “That’s why it’s so important to make and keep dentist appointments even if you feel fine.”
Healthy gums “should be pink, firm, and keep your teeth securely in place”, said the NHS.
If you do have gum disease, two of the initial warning signs include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth.
During the early stages of gum disease, you might hear a dentist refer to it as “gingivitis”.
Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, which can cause other unusual signs inside of your mouth.
“You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you think you may have gum disease,” the NHS advised.
Gum disease can make diabetes harder to manage, the CDC confirmed, so how can you get the condition under control?
The NHS goes into detail as to what “good deal hygiene” entails to curb gum disease.
Good oral hygiene involves:
- Brushing teeth, twice daily, for two minutes each time
- Using toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Floss daily, before brushing your teeth
- Don’t smoke
- Visit your dentist annually.
Instead, mouthwash is ideal after eating lunch, and people are recommended not to eat or drink for 30 minutes afterwards.
When it comes to flossing, expect to see blood at first if you have gum disease.
As the gums become healthier, the bleeding should stop; if it doesn’t, the NHS suggest asking your dentist about the proper technique for flossing.
If you have healthier gums, it’s one way to help control blood sugar levels.
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