Millions of Americans have diabetes and also suffer from gum disease. Recent figures suggest that the number of Americans with diabetes is at least 24 million and that as much as two times that many Americans are currently at risk for gum disease.
The American Diabetes Association has released information suggesting that there truly is a relationship between gum disease and diabetes, stressing that those who have diabetes have to be as much as three times more likely to experience the disease. The following are ten ways that people with diabetes can prevent the occurrence of gum disease.
1. Brushing Your Teeth Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Brushing your teeth at least two times per day is extremely important to preventing gum disease. Be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and to use dental floss or floss picks. It is worth spending a little extra on high quality dental care items so you will not have to spend a ton of money on dental care in the future. Also be sure to use a soft bristled toothbrush to prevent damaging your tooth enamel. If you have partials or dentures, be sure to keep those clean as well.
2. Maintain Healthy Blood Glucose Levels
Healthy blood glucose levels decrease your likelihood of encountering serious gum diseases. You can ensure that you have healthy blood glucose levels by making healthy choices of what foods to eat and which foods to avoid and by checking and monitoring your blood sugar levels often.
3. Tell Your Dentist/Periodontist if You Are Diabetic
This may not seem obvious at first, but it is worth telling your dentist or periodontist if you have diabetes. That way they can keep on the lookout for any disease issues that are more common in individuals with diabetes.
4. Cutting Out the Cigarettes Also Lowers The Chances of Gum Disease
Smoking is another precursor to gum disease, so it is imperative that you cut out the cigarettes and cigars if you wish to prevent gum disease. Chewing tobacco is also a terrible choice that can also lead to some pretty severe dental issues and can even lead to various forms of cancer of the mouth.
5. Avoid Foods That May Hurt Your Teeth
The following foods and beverages must be avoided: Sugary items, carbonated drinks like soda, fruit juices, foods that are high in acid and alcoholic beverages. Although juice or hard candy may be suggested if an individual is having a low blood sugar glucose reaction, both are not great for your teeth. They lead to the production of acids that can do considerable damage to your teeth, and since diabetics generally have higher instances of tooth decay, they must be avoided.
6. Foods That Are Good To Eat
Increasing your intake of foods that are high in calcium and Vitamin D can help to prevent damage to the enamel of your teeth, and can even re-mineralize tooth enamel so you can rebuild that which you have lost. Soy products, eggs, fish and mushrooms are all good choices for diabetics. Seafood, beef, lamb, beans, avocado, carrots, bananas, broccoli, apples and pears can all help as well for their zinc and/or fiber content.
- Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber can decrease your chances of getting periodontal disease by 30%: avocado, beans, broccoli, carrots, apples, bananas, and pears
- Meats high in zinc have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunity boosting powers: lean beef, lamb and seafood
- Vitamin B promotes healthy gum tissue healthy metabolism, promote cell growth and strengthens the immune system: salmon, lentils, bananas, and tempeh