Diabetes and Tooth Decay
Diabetes is associated with low saliva production also known as dry mouth. A 2012 study documented higher instances of dental caries or cavities and a lower flow rate of saliva. This is significant because saliva acts to balance the PH levels in our mouths which help prevent cavities. Basically less saliva means higher acid levels that increase the risk for enamel demineralization and this makes our teeth more prone to decay.
What Can Diabetics Do To Prevent Tooth Decay?
- Start with very good daily oral hygiene with a soft brush.
- Use a fluoride containing and plaque fighting toothpaste.
- Rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride as this will also act to reduce enamel demineralization.
Diabetics should get regular dental checkups at 6 month intervals. This will help to catch and problems before they become serious. Cuts and bruises take longer to heal for people with diabetes and this also goes for recovering from oral surgery. Prevention is definitely the best medicine!
Finally, avoiding sugars, such as soda, is not only critical to managing this disease, but is important to maintaining good oral health!