Oral Hygiene – The Ugly Secret of Diabetes


Have you noticed friends or family keeping a distance from you? It could be your breath. All joking aside, bad breath and gum disease are major concerns for someone who is living with Type 2 Diabetes. Not only do you have to worry about what you eat, but you also need to be diligent with oral hygiene. Often, even that is not enough to keep the halitosis at bay.

The Connections between Type 2 Diabetes and Bad Breath

Why is bad breath such an issue, and if you are avoiding sugary foods, why should you make an effort to keep your teeth clean? As a person with diabetes, you may have noticed that your mouth is dry quite often. While many people suffer from a dry mouth, those who have diabetes tend to have the condition more so than everyone else.

The effects of a dry mouth are the critical problem. Saliva naturally has antibiotic properties that help to keep mouth bacteria in check. Along with good oral hygiene, most people can fight bad breath quickly. When you have a dry mouth, there isn’t saliva to help fight off the bacteria, and as the bacteria grow, your breath will begin to smell bad even if you brush your teeth daily.

Secondly, those who are living with Type 2 Diabetes have a more considerable risk of developing gum disease due to increased blood sugar and because of a dry mouth. If you are properly managing your Diabetes, then your risk may be low, but for those who have uncontrolled blood sugar, your risk will be higher. Plus, with increased blood sugar levels, when your mouth isn’t dry, you will have increased glucose in your saliva, which the bacteria will feed on.

A Silent Symptom of Diabetes

For some people, dry mouth may be one of the first symptoms of undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes. If you are noticing bad breath or dry mouth along with increased thirst, increased urination, slow healing sores or are overweight, speak to a doctor or medical professional to be tested. The earlier you know if you have diabetes, the better your chances controlling or reversing the disease.

Ways to Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy with Diabetes

Managing your Type 2 Diabetes should include an excellent oral hygiene plan. Talk with your dentist to see what will best for you, but here are few steps that you can take.

  • If you smoke, stop smoking as it increases the risk of gum disease.

  • Keep your blood sugar level under control.

  • Have regular cleanings and dental exams with your dentist.

  • Brush your teeth after each meal.

  • Floss daily.

  • Use mouthwash daily.

If you need help managing your Type 2 Diabetes, we can help. Make an appointment with us today to speak to someone about controlling or reversing the disease. You don’t have to work through the issues alone. Let us help today.

Advanced Functional Medicine offers a whole new way to understand and look at chronic illnesses from diabetes to heart disease; autoimmune disease to fibromyalgia; thyroid to anxiety, and more. Dr. Matthew Willis, DC, DABCI and Dr. Sonia Mohan, MD are dedicated to treating the root causes of chronic disease by using the dynamic model of Functional Medicine which has been transforming the way healthcare is practiced. Using the latest scientific research to diagnose and formulate a customized treatment plan for each patient it will help reverse chronic disease and eliminate the need for dangerous or unnecessary drug or surgical interventions. You can find out more information by going to http://www.AdvFunctionalMedicine.com.

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