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The Oral Health & Diabetes Connection

added on: November 5, 2019
world diabetes day

When you start seeing a new dentist in McMinnville, one of the first things you’ll probably have to do is fill out a medical history form. But why? In short, your dentist needs to know what may be affecting your overall health and, in turn, your oral health. Diabetes is one of those diseases that’s especially important for us to know about because it can increase the risk for certain oral health conditions such as gum disease. Often, oral health is an overlooked part of many diseases, including diabetes. So today, we want to share some of the most commonly asked questions we get about diabetes and how it’s connected to oral health. 

“What Does My Dentist Need to Know About My Diabetes?”

If you’re diabetic, you already know how important it is to share that information with your dentist in McMinnville. But knowing your diagnosis may not be enough. Be sure to share things such as: 

  • Any changes in your medication or overall health
  • The results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose)
  • If you need antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes

We always encourage our patients to share important medical information with us. After all, we’re here to help, and we truly love getting to know our patients. In fact, the more we know, the better we can care for your smile and keep you healthy. 

“How Does My Blood Sugar Affect My Oral Health?”

Maintaining blood glucose levels is an everyday part of any diabetic’s life. We understand that sometimes it can be a challenge, or even frustrating, and we know that you want to keep your numbers in check just as much as we do. But it’s also important for you to know that maintaining blood sugar can not only help you control diabetes, it can also reduce the risk of oral health problems associated with diabetes such as loose teeth or gum disease. Gum disease is particularly concerning for diabetics because it can cause blood sugar levels to rise and make managing diabetes more difficult. 

“Do I Need to Do Anything Differently to Take Care of My Smile?”

The short answer to this is no, you don’t need to do anything differently to take care of your smile, but you do need to maintain a good oral healthcare routine. Make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to gently clean your teeth. This can help avoid any gum damage that can happen from using stiff bristles or scrubbing too hard. It’s also important for everyone, especially diabetics, to visit our dental office in McMinnville every six months. These dental cleanings and checkups help get teeth squeaky clean and allow our dental team to keep a close eye on your oral health so we can catch and treat any problems we may find early.  

We’re always here to make sure our patients are as healthy as possible, and that often means we need to be aware of any other health conditions you may have. Make sure to share your complete health history with your dentist and update them on any changes regularly. It can truly make a difference in your overall health.