Dentist at Rock Creek

6 Ways to Reduce Your Gum Disease Risk When You Have Diabetes

Nov 01, 2023
6 Ways to Reduce Your Gum Disease Risk When You Have Diabetes
Having diabetes dramatically increases your risk of gum disease. Fortunately, these six simple steps can help lower that risk and improve your oral health, too. 

Gum disease affects about half of all American adults and significantly increases the risk of tooth loss among people with advanced forms of the disease. 

If you have diabetes, your risk of gum disease triples, in part because high blood sugar provides an attractive food source for gum disease-causing bacteria.

At Dentist at Rock Creek in Cypress, Texas, KimCuc Vo, DDS, and Sandra Raouf, DDS, offer comprehensive preventive care for patients with diabetes, helping them take steps to keep their teeth and gums healthy. 

In recognition of National Diabetes Month, our team is dedicating this post to helping you learn six simple ways to lower your risk of gum disease.

Be proactive in diabetes management

One of the most important ways to prevent gum disease (and other diabetes-related complications) is to do all you can to keep your glucose (blood sugar) levels under control. 

Elevated glucose levels increase bacterial growth, and diabetes can also lower your saliva production, making it harder for your mouth to keep bacteria populations in check. 

If you have diabetes, work closely with your doctor to develop a diabetes management plan that works for you.

Brush and floss using proper technique

Brushing and flossing are always important, but if your risk of gum disease is elevated, they’re even more important. 

Brush twice a day using the techniques shown here. Flossing once a day is fine. You can practice your technique using these tips. Follow up with an antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs in hard-to-reach areas.

Have regular dental checkups

Twice-yearly dental exams help us spot problems early. The good news about gum disease is that early treatment can prevent the disease from progressing. 

In addition to checking for signs of gum disease, we provide a thorough cleaning to get rid of bacteria and the sticky plaque deposits that contain it.

Eat a healthy diet

If you have diabetes, you need to watch what you eat in order to maintain normal glucose levels. Watching your diet can also reduce your risk of gum disease, especially if you cut back on carbs and sugary foods. 

Focus instead on fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Quit smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs and your hearts — it’s bad for your oral health, too. Smoking causes inflammation that contributes to gum disease, and it interferes with your gums’ ability to heal. 

Plus, it lowers your immunity, increasing your risk of gum disease infections. Quitting isn’t easy, but the benefits are huge. These resources can help. 

Seek treatment early

Gum disease causes subtle symptoms in its early stages. If you have bleeding gums, swollen or tender gums, or gums that look red instead of pink, schedule a gum disease evaluation right away.

If you have diabetes, it’s more important than ever to take care of your oral health. To learn how we can help or to schedule a gum disease evaluation, call 832-737-8234 or request an appointment online with our team at Dentist at Rock Creek today.