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Have a Healthy Smile Despite Diabetes [BLOG]

It’s hard to believe that November is already here in the Ohio Valley! The leaves look lovely, though they are a pain to get off the lawn, right? November is also Diabetes Awareness Month. This is a big deal for us here in Kentucky. The Kentucky type 2 diabetes rate is higher than the national average by a significant amount, and we have seen some of our own patients struggle with this disease.

So why is Diabetes Awareness Month a big deal for your local dentist in Edgewood? There is a very close relationship between the health of your mouth and the health of the rest of your body. We have talked about this before, but just as a reminder, gum disease has been linked with heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and low birthweight babies. How does this happen? Gum disease is caused by bacteria that can get into the bloodstream and affect the rest of your body.

You may be asking yourself how you can possibly protect yourself! Let’s get into that.

Avoid the Risk of Gum Disease

If you are living with diabetes, you must understand how gum disease can affect you. It’s different than it is for people who are not diabetic. Gum disease bacteria can actually make it more difficult for you to control your blood glucose numbers. That’s right. If you’re struggling to get your numbers under control, a trip to the dentist should be at the top of your list of things to do!

Plus, because diabetes affects your ability to fight infection, you are more likely to develop gum disease that you were before you developed this condition. Even if you’ve had healthy teeth for your entire life, you may now find yourself more prone to these types of infection.

What is a person to do? The following list should come as no surprise:

  1. Brush at least twice per day.
  2. Floss at least once per day.
  3. Visit Edgewood Dental Care at least twice per year.

You’ll notice the word, “at least” in all of those. When you know you are more likely to develop an infection that can accelerate your diabetes condition, you will want to do what you can to prevent it. The above list is the recommendation for all people. It’s the bare minimum for someone with diabetes. If you truly want to protect yourself from gum disease, consider brushing after each meal, flossing in the morning and the evening, and developing a customized visit schedule for more frequent cleanings and exams.

Treat Gum Disease Effectively

And what happens if you develop gum disease anyway? We’re here to help with high quality treatment options. Our team of doctors are equipped and trained to use the very latest in dental technology and technique to help you beat infection early.

  • Scaling and Root Planing – A traditional approach to gum disease. This is basically a very deep cleaning technique that will also smooth your tooth roots to make them more difficult for bacteria to cling to.
  • LANAP – LANAP is a revolutionary laser treatment that allows us to remove the bacteria in a much more comfortable way. Patients love the results and the process!
  • Antibiotic Treatment – We can prescribe an antibiotic gel placed in dental trays and applied to your gums each day. This will clear the infection over several days and allow you to stay in control of your treatment.

The most important element of this entire diabetes-gum disease cycle is that you catch infections early before they have an opportunity to disrupt your blood glucose levels or cause too much damage to your smile. Call our office today at 859-474-7830. We’d love to help you keep both your mouth and your entire body healthy.

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