When most people around the Thanksgiving dinner table are happily enjoying pecan pie, candied sweet potatoes, and pumpkin bread, it’s easy to forget that people with diabetes have to be mindful of the high sugar content of every forkful. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing they have to worry about.
Whether they’re type 1 or type 2, people who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk for serious health problems like heart disease, blindness, and infections, including periodontal disease. Because elevated blood sugar levels help bacteria in the mouth thrive, people with diabetes tend to get gum disease earlier in life than people without diabetes, and often develop a more severe case.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Just as people with diabetes can control the disease with the help of diet, exercise, and medicine, they can also help prevent gum disease by maintaining a good oral health routine.
Although it’s important for everyone to brush twice a day and floss daily, it’s absolutely critical if you have diabetes. Smokers with diabetes are at even greater risk for periodontal disease and many other serious health problems, so stamping out that habit is a must. If you suffer from diabetes, make sure your dentist is aware so he or she can keep a close eye on your gums during regular dental appointments.